Friday, 24 August 2012

Goodbye Nina Bawden

Nina Bawden... author of Carrie's War
Nina Bawden, who died this week aged 87, was a remarkable woman.

A gifted writer who could bewitch readers with magical stories for adults and children alike, she will be best remembered for her classic children's novel Carrie's War. Set during the Second World War and the tale of two children evacuated to Wales, the book was twice adapted for British television. I remember watching the BBC's version in the 1970s and being utterly hooked.

Carrie's War and the writing of Nina Bawden, along with that of fellow authors Michael Morpurgo, Robert Westall and Ian Serraillier, is celebrated at an exhibition, Once Upon A Wartime, at the Imperial War Museum North at Salford, until September 2 (I plan to visit, so check back soon to see my verdict).

Her life was not short on drama. Her husband Austen Kark was killed in the 2002 Potters Bar rail crash, which also left her seriously injured. A writer through and through, she wrote a moving memoir in her husband's memory, Dear Austen.

If you've never read Nina Bawden, you must seek out Carrie's War - it's a modern classic. Sad to see her passing.

Excellent obituaries at the Guardian, Independent and Telegraph's websites.

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