Saturday 3 August 2019

AUGUST'S AUTHOR by Sharon Tregenza


Paula Danziger was born on AUGUST 14th, 1944 in Washington D.C. to Samuel and Carolyn Danziger. She was raised in New York and had a difficult childhood and struggled at school. She said, 'there was nothing major and awful. I just didn't feel (my family) was supportive and emotionally generous. My father was a very unhappy person, very sarcastic, and my mother was very nervous and worried about what people thought. They weren't monsters, but it wasn't a good childhood.'

She studied to become a teacher at Montclair State University where she was mentored by poet John Ciardi. After getting her bachelor's degree in education she taught English to Junior High school children.

After the success of The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Danziger left teaching in 1978 to write full time.

Her popular Amber Brown series stretched from 1994-2003. She was also well known in the UK for hosting a special on children's literature on the BBC called 'Going Live'.

Paula Danziger died from complications after a heart attack on July 8th, 2004. She was only 59 years old.

Five facts about Paula Danziger:

1. After being injured in a car accident, for a while, she could only write backwards.

2. The characters in 'The Cat ate my Gymsuit' were based on experiences from her childhood.

3. She often gave lectures wearing elaborate costumes and calling herself a children's Dame Edna Everage.

4. She is quoted as saying she would have liked to have been a stand-up comic.

5. when she tried out for the choir in school she was told to stop fooling around and sing in her normal voice - it was her normal voice.


Sue Purkiss said...

Interesting advice at the end there!

Sharon Tregenza said...

Yes, I thought so too. :)