ONLY MARGARET

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Brooklyn-born Brown went on to blaze trails, too, and demonstrated her quirky personality early on, once toting a rabbit in a basket onto a train. (This rabbit became a talisman, as Brown wrote 26 books whose titles bore the words bunny or rabbit.) After her college magazine published one of her pieces, a professor urged Brown to become a writer. In 1934, she moved to New York City and took a writing course at Columbia University; losing confidence, she switched to a teacher’s college. Ultimately, Brown decided against teaching and settled on writing children’s books—then an unusual pursuit. This was “a happy accident” for both her and children’s literature. Brown traveled around the U.S. and world, eventually purchasing a house on an island off the Maine coast; she died in Nice, France, in 1952, aged 42. This simple, straightforward biography emphasizing Brown’s strong personality in lyrical language may arouse interest among Brown fans but only vaguely skims the surface. The author broaches Brown’s bisexuality by mentioning in the narrative that Brown and the female poet Michael Strange “became very close” and in the notes that she was engaged to a man. The colorful, somewhat naïve illustrations don’t attempt verisimilitude. Brown is White, as is most of the supporting cast.

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