Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Philanthropist Author Dead at 60

The British-born author Magdalen Nabb, creator of the Detective Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia novels, died of a stroke at home in Florence, Italy, on Saturday. She was 60 years old.

Nabb’s publishers report that the author had recently completed the 14th book in her popular series. Vita Nuova will be published in 2008.

According to the Associated Press, Nabb said she began composing fiction after Georges Simenon stopped “writing his acclaimed novels about French detective Jules Maigret in 1972. A lifelong fan of Simenon’s, Nabb struck up a correspondence with the Belgian which continued until his death in 1989.”
Nabb’s publisher said the first copy of each of her books went to him, and “she couldn’t write as fast as Simenon read” because he asked her after each new novel where the next one was.
In addition to her crime novels and the books for children she was almost as well known for writing, Nabb dedicated part of her thoughts to what she called her “projects.”

“Every year I interrupt my work on novels about crime to write something for children,” Nabb explained on her Web site. “This year was different. At the time when I would normally have done that, I was drawn instead to the plight of Afghan refugee children and to the work done for them by Elisabeth Neuenschwander, whose school in Quetta, Pakistan, I saw on TV. This seemed to me the moment to do something different for children, so I arranged a meeting with Elisabeth in Switzerland with the idea of using the proceeds of my Josie Smith stories to buy books for her school.”

The International Herald Tribune and The Telegraph both offer up beautiful remembrances of Nabb today. Read more about her projects here.

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