Margot Benary-Isbert

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Margot Benary-Isbert (December 2, 1889 – May 27, 1979) born Margot Isbert, was a German and later an American writer of children's books.

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

Contents

Life in Germany

Benary-Isbert was born in Saarbrücken, in the Rhine Province of the Kingdom of Prussia, and raised in Frankfurt am Main, part of the German Empire but outside the Kingdom. She enjoyed telling stories and a schoolteacher recommended writing them up as fiction rather than sounding like lies; her first story was published when she was 19. [1] She attended the College St. Carolus and the University of Frankfurt briefly and worked as a secretary at the Museum of Ethnology and Anthropology in Frankfurt from 1910 to 1917. In 1917 she married Wilhelm Benary, a psychologist. They moved to a farm house in Erfurt where William ran the family business. Margot raised Great Danes for a time. [1]

Saarbrücken Place in Saarland, Germany

Saarbrücken is the capital and largest city of the state of Saarland, Germany. Saarbrücken is Saarland's administrative, commercial and cultural centre and is next to the French border.

Rhine Province province of Prussia

The Rhine Province, also known as Rhenish Prussia (Rheinpreußen) or synonymous with the Rhineland (Rheinland), was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822 to 1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg. Its capital was Koblenz and in 1939 it had 8 million inhabitants. The Province of Hohenzollern was militarily associated with the Oberpräsident of the Rhine Province.

Kingdom of Prussia Former German state (1701–1918)

The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.

World War II

During the War Margot raised animals for food. Erfurt was captured by the U.S. Army in April but it became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation and the Benary-Isberts moved to near Göttingen, not far but in the British Zone that later became West Germany. They shared an apartment with two other families, where Margot wrote Die Arche Noah (The Ark). Many of her books featured post-war Germany and a common theme was the capability of people, especially children, "to rise above almost impossible odds to build new lives for themselves". [1]

Göttingen Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Göttingen is a university city in Lower Saxony, Germany, the capital of the eponymous district. It is run through by River Leine. At the start of 2017, the population was 134,212.

West Germany Federal Republic of Germany in the years 1949–1990

West Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, and referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its capital was the city of Bonn.

The Benary-Isberts moved to the U.S. in 1952, first to Chicago and later to Santa Barbara, California. Margot became an American citizen in 1957 and worked as a writer until her death in 1976. [1]

Santa Barbara, California City in California, United States

Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County in the U.S. state of California. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera". As of 2014, the city had an estimated population of 91,196, up from 88,410 in 2010, making it the second most populous city in the county after Santa Maria. The contiguous urban area, which includes the cities of Goleta and Carpinteria, along with the unincorporated regions of Isla Vista, Montecito, Mission Canyon, Hope Ranch, Summerland, and others, has an approximate population of 220,000. The population of the entire county in 2010 was 423,895.

Writing

Most of Benary-Isbert's books were written and published originally in German; some were later translated into English and published again.

Benary-Isbert is known for her "depictions of humane, realistic characters". A reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement wrote that, "Benary's people are people; they are solid, real characters and their lives and their hopes and their sorrows matter to the reader." Her narratives are admired for being richly detailed and of a consistently high quality, perhaps higher than many other books in the same genre of the time. [2]

Margot Benary-Isbert died on May 27, 1979, in Santa Barbara. Her cousin was the German author and nonfiction writer Otto Albrecht Isbert(1901-1986).

Awards

<i>New York Herald Tribune</i> newspaper

The New York Herald Tribune was a newspaper published between 1924 and 1966. It was created in 1924 when the New York Tribune acquired the New York Herald. It was widely regarded as a "writer's newspaper" and competed with The New York Times in the daily morning market. The paper won at least nine Pulitzer Prizes during its lifetime.

Jane Addams Childrens Book Award

The Jane Addams Children's Book Award is given annually to a children's book published the preceding year that advances the causes of peace and social equality. The awards have been presented annually since 1953. They were previously given jointly by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the Jane Addams Peace Association, but are now presented solely by the Jane Addams Peace Association.

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is a non-profit non-governmental organization working "to bring together women of different political views and philosophical and religious backgrounds determined to study and make known the causes of war and work for a permanent peace" and to unite women worldwide who oppose oppression and exploitation. WILPF has national sections in 37 countries.

Works (English titles)

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Margot Benary-Isbert Papers". de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. University of Southern Mississippi. June 2001. Retrieved 2013-06-24. With Biographical Note.
  2. Gale Literary Databases. "Margot Benary-Isbert." Contemporary Authors. October 28, 2003; July 11, 2005.