Nancy Willard, American writer, Died at 80


Nancy Willard was born on June 26, 1936, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and died on February 19, 2017.

She was an American writer: novelist, poet, author and occasional illustrator of children’s books.

Willard won the 1982 Newbery Medal for A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.

Nancy received the B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and won five Hopwood Awards for creative writing.

Willard also studied at Stanford University, where she received her M.A.

Nancy Willard first novel was ‘Things Invisible to See (1985), which was set in her hometown of Ann Arbor in the 1940s.

Where two brothers become involved with a paralyzed young woman, and it “ends with a baseball game that anticipates the film Field of Dreams in its player lineup of baseball luminaries.

Reviewed by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer said the novel ‘has the quality of a fairy tale … a paradigm of life as a Manichean conflict between good and evil’.”

She moved to Poughkeepsie, New York in 1965 where she was first a professor at Vassar College and later a lecturer, giving up her tenure to focus on writing.

Nancy retired from Vassar in 2013.

Nancy Willard passed away at 80 years old.