Brit novelist Nina Bawden dies at 87

Updated: Aug 23, 2012, 16:39 PM IST

London: Author Nina Bawden, who wrote the novel ‘Carrie’s War’ as well as more than 40 other books for children and adults, died at her north London home on Wednesday. She was 87.

Published in 1973, ‘Carrie’s War’ was her most famous work, based on her World War II evacuation to south Wales.

She was also nominated for the Booker Prize in 1987 for Circles of Deceit.

In 2002, her husband was killed and she was badly injured in the Potters Bar train crash.

She died at her London home on Wednesday surrounded by family.

Bawden was regarded as one of the few modern novelists to write successfully for both adults and children, and was admired for her insightful depictions of childhood and complicated family relationships.

She once said she liked writing for children because “most people underestimate their understanding and the strength of their feelings and in my books for them I try to put this right.”

Playwright Sir David Hare, who portrayed Bawden in his play ‘The Permanent Way,’ paid tribute to her as “an uncomplicatedly good woman, whose long fight to obtain justice for the victims of the Potters Bar crash was a model of eloquence, principle and human decency.”

Bawden’s publisher Lennie Goodings called the author “a gently fierce, clever, elegant, wickedly funny woman.”

Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin children’s division, described Bawden as “a wonderful storyteller, brilliant at stepping into the minds of her characters and conjuring up a powerful sense of time and place.”

Born Nina Mary Mabey in Ilford, Essex, in 1925, Bawden was evacuated at the age of 14, first to Ipswich and then south Wales.

The experience provided the template for ‘Carrie’s War,’ about the girl sent to live in a mining town, which was later added to the school curriculum.

It was adapted twice for television by the BBC, while a stage production ran in the West End in 2009.

Bawden was made a CBE in 1995 and received the prestigious ST Dupont Golden Pen Award for a lifetime’s contribution to literature in 2004.

ANI

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