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Author E L Konigsburg passes away

Author E L Konigsburg passes away

THE children’s author E. L. Konigsburg has passed away. She was 83.

Born Elaine Lobi in New York, she married David Konigsburg in 1952 after studying chemistry at university and becoming a teacher. But Ms. Konigsburg was to say that it soon became clear she was more interested in what was going on inside her students instead of inside test tubes.

When the last of her three children started nursery, Ms. Konigsburg began to write. Her first novel, Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth was published in 1967. It came out the following year in the United Kingdom under a truncated title.

It was the start of a highly successful career in which she wrote 16 novels for children and three picture books, which she illustrated.

Ms. Konigsburg was to win the prestigious John Newbery Medal for children’s literature twice. The first time was in 1968 for From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler — the tale of a girl who runs away with her brother to a museum. She also received a Newbery Honour for her first novel, making her the only author to win two citations in one year.

Her second full Newbery came in 1997 for The View From Saturday.

One of her books, The Hideaways, was made into a film in 1973, starring Ingrid Bergman. Several other novels were filmed for television.

Ms. Konigsburg passed away at a hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, a week after suffering a stroke. Her husband had passed away in 2001. She is survived by her three sons and a daughter.

To view footage of Ms. Konigsburg speaking at Tulsa Library in 2001 after winning the Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature, click here.

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