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Novelist Paula Fox dies at 93

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Paula Fox

The award-winning children’s novelist Paula Fox, known for frankly exploring abandonment and loss, has died in New York. She was 93.

Fox died at a hospital near her Brooklyn home, her daughter, Linda Carroll-Barraud told The New York Times.

She was awarded the Newbery Medal, the top children’s literature honor, in 1974 for “The Slave Dancer.” The controversial novel centered on the Atlantic slave trade in the mid-19th century.

Over her long career, Fox penned more than 20 books for young people and six aimed at adults.

They were tied together by her spare style and interest in the breaking down of things — from families to health to love.

The feelings were familiar to Fox, who wrote about her parents not wanting her: they left her in a foundling hospital and went off to travel.

Her life zigged and zagged, from being brought up in the United States and Cuba by family, friends and a small-town preacher, then reclaimed by her parents. At 16, she left to follow her own path.

She briefly studied at New York’s prestigious Julliard School for musicians, worked as a journalist and married twice. She thrived at writing for decades.

Fox was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1978 for her body of children’s work.

She is survived by her husband, two children and several grandchildren, including the rock star-actress Courtney Love, 52.



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