I'm saddened again to report another death, this time of novelist and children's literature expert, Alison Lurie, at the age of 94. A long time ago I was one of her students, and we kept in occasional touch and swapped books in the years afterwards. She gave a nice blurb for the 1996 reissue of The Marvellous Land of Snergs, by E.A. Wyke-Smith, the 1927 children's novel that inspired The Hobbit. I recall that she also asked me for suggestions for inclusion in her Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales (1993), and presented me with an inscribed copy on publication.
I always found Alison kind and friendly, unlike many of my other professors back then. I read a good number of her books, and reviewed one, her short story collection Women and Ghosts, a few years ago at Wormwoodiana.
The obituary at The Guardian sums up her achievements nicely.