Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Loving Memory of Jean Craighead George

Good Evening Beardies,

It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that I bring you news of yet another literary loss.

{2 July 1919 - 15 May 2012}

Even though she is not an author of traditional fantasy, when I was growing up, the three novels mentioned above struck a certain magical spark within me... and for that reason, among several others, I thought it only appropriate for The Bearded Scribe to pay its respects to such a wonderful woman and talented writer.

Of course, I have to give credit to Elizabeth, who--when I told her I was struggling to decide on a topic for today's post--told me about Jean's passing and suggested a Memorial post.  I hadn't yet heard of Jean's death, but Elizabeth (being a librarian) was privy to the information via the listserv at work.

Jean Craighead was born on July 2, 1919 in Washington and raised in a family of naturalist.  Her family often camped in the woods near their home in Washington state, undoubtedly lighting the intellectual fires for the majority of Jean's nature-based novels.  Later on in her life and over the years at her home in Chappaqua, New York, Jean kept more than 170 animals (not including dogs and cats).  To quote her on this topic:
"Most of these wild animals depart in autumn when the sun changes their behaviour and they feel the urge to migrate or go off alone. While they are with us, however, they become characters in my books, articles, and stories."

Jean's stories evoke a sense of her own unity with nature... perhaps that is why I felt such a magical spark when I read them as a child.  I was then and am now a lover of animals and nature, perhaps a bit of a naturalist myself.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the writings of Jean C. George, please visit your local bookstore [or library] and pick up a copy of at least one (if not all) of the three books mentioned above.

May you Rest in Peace, Jean...

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