Nancy Garden

Last updated
Nancy Garden
BornMay 15, 1938
Boston, Massachusetts
DiedJune 23, 2014(2014-06-23) (aged 76)
Carlisle, Massachusetts
Genre Young-adult and children's novels
supernatural fiction
Literary movement LGBT literature
Notable work Annie on My Mind
Notable awards Margaret Edwards Award
PartnerSandy Scott (45 years)

Nancy Garden (May 15, 1938 – June 23, 2014) was an American writer of fiction for children and young adults, best known for the lesbian novel Annie on My Mind. She received the 2003 Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association recognizing her lifetime contribution in writing for teens, citing Annie alone. [1] [2]

The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members.


Annie On My Mind was awarded the Lee Lynch Classic Award by the Golden Crown Literary Society in 2014, cited as one of the most important classics in lesbian literature. [ citation needed ]

The Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) is an American non-profit organization established in February 2004 as a literary and educational organization for the study, discussion, enjoyment, and enhancement of lesbian literature. The GCLS membership includes publishers, distributors, authors, and readers of lesbian fiction. An all-volunteer effort, GCLS is open to all individuals who are interested in enjoying, discussing, promoting and enhancing the future of lesbian literature. In 2011, the GCLS attained federal nonprofit status.


Garden was born in 1938 in Boston. She was an only child who "took refuge in books, in writing, and in telling long stories to myself and sometimes acting them out." [3] She earned a B.F.A. (1961) and an M.A. (1962) from Columbia University School of Dramatic Arts.Through school and for several years after college, Garden worked in theater, supplementing the work with odd jobs in offices. This includes freelance editorial work for various publishers. Garden began her writing career as an assistant editor in Scholastic Magazine in New York, NY. By 1970, Garden had risen to associate editor. She moved on to be an editor at Houghton Mifflin CO in Boston, MA between 1971-1976. She later visited and gave talks at schools and libraries, teaching children about writing. [4] She has also written non-fiction, mystery and fantasy for children and young adults.

A Bachelor of Fine Arts is the standard undergraduate degree for students in the United States and Canada seeking a professional education in the visual or performing arts.

A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.

Garden is best known for Annie on My Mind , published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1982. It was critically acclaimed but attracted controversy because of its lesbian characters, Annie and Liza, who fall in love. It was one of the first teen novels to feature lesbian characters in a positive light. [5] "I wrote it to give solace to young gay people, to let them know they were not alone, that they could be happy and well adjusted and also to let heterosexual kids know that we gay people aren't monsters," she told Booklist in a 1996 interview. [6]

<i>Annie on My Mind</i> book by Nancy Garden

Annie On My Mind is a 1982 novel by Nancy Garden about the romantic relationship between two 17-year-old New York City girls, Annie and Liza.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG) is an American book publishing company, founded in 1946 by Roger Williams Straus Jr. and John C. Farrar. FSG is known for publishing literary books, and its authors have won numerous awards, including Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and Nobel Peace Prizes. The publisher is currently a division of Macmillan, whose parent company is the German publishing conglomerate Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.

Lesbian Homosexual woman

A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.

In 1993, Annie on My Mind was banned by the Kansas City school system and burnt in demonstrations. It was returned to shelves only after a First Amendment lawsuit by students in 1995. It is #44 on the American Library Association list of 100 books most frequently challenged during the 1990s. [7]

Kansas City, Missouri City in western Missouri

Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 488,943 in 2017, making it the 37th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.

First Amendment to the United States Constitution Law guaranteeing freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press and petitions and prohibiting establishment of an official religion

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

Garden received the Robert B. Downs Award for Intellectual Freedom in 2001 from the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science. [8] [9]

The ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award recognizes one writer and a particular body of work "for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature." Garden won the annual award in 2003, when the panel cited Annie on My Mind alone and called her "the first author for young adults to create a lesbian love story with a positive ending ... Using a fluid, readable style, Garden opens a window through which readers can find courage to be true to themselves." [1] Five years later Garden recalled that "I was and still am enormously grateful ... for YALSA’s recognition ... of the importance of YA books about LGBT youth." [10]

Garden's reviews of young adult titles have appeared in the Lambda Literary Foundation's Lambda Book Report.

She spent many years living between Massachusetts and Maine, with partner Sandy Scott, their golden retriever, Loki, and their cats. [11]


Nancy Garden died of a heart attack on June 23, 2014, aged 76. [12]



  • Berlin: City Split in Two (Putnam's, 1971)
  • Fun with Weather Forecasting, illus. Dorothea Sierra (Houghton Mifflin, 1973)
  • The Kids' Code and Cipher Book (1988)
  • Weird and Horrible series
    • Vampires (1973)
    • Werewolves (1973)
    • Witches (1975)
    • Devils and Demons (1976)


  • What Happened in Marston (1971)
  • The Loners (1972)
  • Mist Maiden (1975)
  • Annie on My Mind (1982)
  • Maria's Mountain (1983)
  • Prisoner of Vampires (1984)
  • Peace, O River (1986)
  • Lark in the Morning (1991)
  • My Sister, the Vampire (1992)
  • Dove and Sword: A Novel of Joan of Arc (1995)
  • My Brother, the Werewolf (1995)
  • Good Moon Rising (1996)
  • The Year They Burned the Books (1999)
  • Holly's Secret (2000)
  • Prisoners of Vampires (2001)
  • Nora and Liz (2002)
  • Meeting Melanie (2002)
  • Molly's Family (2004)
  • Endgame (2006)
  • Hear Us Out! (2007)
  • Fours Crossing series
    • Fours Crossing (1981)
    • Watersmeet (1983)
    • The Door Between (1987)
  • Monster Hunters
  1. Mystery of the Night Raiders (1987)
  2. Mystery of the Midnight Menace (1988)
  3. Mystery of the Secret Marks (1989)
  4. Mystery of the Kidnapped Kidnapper (1994)
  5. Mystery of the Watchful Witches (1995)
  • Candlestone Inn
  1. The Case of the Stolen Scarab (2004)
  2. The Case of the Vanishing Valuables (2010)

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  1. 1 2 "2003 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association (ALA).
      "Edwards Award",; retrieved 2013-10-10.
  2. . Authors4Teens. Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine .
  3. Something About the Author, Volume 12, p. 86, quoted in Frances Ann Day, Lesbian and Gay Voices. Greenwood Press.
  4. "Garden, Nancy - Authors and Artists for Young Adults |". Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  5. "Nancy Garden". TeenReads (
  6. Quoted in Frances Ann Day, Lesbian and gay voices, Greenwood Press. [ full citation needed ]
  7. "100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999". Banned & Challenged Books. ALA; retrieved 2013-10-13.
  8. "Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award". Library and Information Science, University of Illinois (
  9. "Author Update: Nancy Garden" (interview by CLS). Cynsations (blog). Cynthia Leitich Smith. June 7, 2007.
  10. "Looking Back". YALSA. ALA. 2008. Retrieved 2013-10-13. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Edwards Award.
  11. "About me". Nancy Garden (
  12. Victoria, Brownworth. "In Remembrance: Nancy Garden". Lambda Literary Review. Lambda Literary Foundation. Retrieved 23 June 2014.