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Tribute to Margaret Mahy in Germany

A tribute event to honour much-loved New Zealand children’s author Margaret Mahy will be held next week at the Frankfurt Book Fair where New Zealand is Guest of Honour.

Bronze sculpture of Margaret Mahy in Christchurch.

Mahy, who died in July at the age of 76, was one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed children’s authors.

Publishers Association of New Zealand president Kevin Chapman said organisers had initially hoped Mahy would be able to attend the fair and she had been keen to go.

“We knew it would be a struggle for her but as one of our special writers and literary greats she was always going to be included in the Frankfurt programme in some form.”

Mahy’s daughter Bridget will travel to Frankfurt for the tribute session.

“We knew at the beginning of the year that Margaret would most likely be too frail for that level of international travel so I want to be there to represent her,” Bridget Mahy said.

“There is a sense for my sister and me, of what happens next in terms of Margaret’s work and this is one event we think is very important.”

The tribute session will feature Mahy’s friends and literary colleagues Joy Cowley and Kate De Goldi as well as her illustrator David Elliot.

Last year Mahy and Elliot won the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year award – one of the many accolades she received throughout her prolific career.

Mahy won the Carnegie Medal in 1982 and 1984, making her the first writer outside Britain to receive the award.

In 1992 she was awarded the Order of New Zealand in 1992 and in 2006 she received the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for her enduring work.

The Mahy tribute session at the Frankfurt Book Fair takes place on Thursday, October 11 in the New Zealand pavilion, the centre place of the Guest of Honour programme at the world’s largest book and content fair.

Updated on 23rd July 2015