Elizabeth Enright Biography

Elizabeth Enright (1909-1968), American writer and illustrator of books for children. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Enright grew up in New York City. She studied at the Art Students League in New York City from 1927 to 1928; in Paris at an atelier of the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1928; and at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. She began her career as an illustrator of children's books and then decided to write and illustrate her own children's story. While working on her first book, Kintu: A Congo Adventure (1935), Enright discovered that she preferred writing to illustrating, and she subsequently focused on writing books for children.

Enright's second book, Thimble Summer (1938), which she both wrote and illustrated, received the Newbery Medal in 1939. The story concerns nine-year-old Garnet Linden and her adventures on a Wisconsin farm and in a nearby town. Enright also wrote a series of works, known as “The Melendy Family” books, about the adventures of four children who live in New York City. These books include The Saturdays (1941), The Four-Story Mistake (1942), Then There Were Five (1944), and Spiderweb for Two (1951). Two other novels— Gone-Away Lake (1957), a 1958 Newbery Honor Book, and Return to Gone-Away (1961), focus on a girl and her cousin who explore old houses near a swampy lake. The well-received book Tatsinda (1963) tells a traditional fairy tale. Enright also wrote many short stories for adults, which were published in magazines such as The New Yorker and Ladies Home Journal.

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