Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Cynthia Irving Voigt (voyt) has produced dozens of young adult novels. Dicey’s Song merited the Newbery Medal in 1983 and the American Library Association (ALA) Best Children’s Book citation. A Solitary Blue was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1984 and the ALA Best Young Adult Book. Although many of her other novels have received awards and favorable reviews, Voigt says the real pleasure of being an author comes during the writing itself. She continues to write prolifically from her home in Deer Isle, Maine.
Frederick C. and Elise (Keeney) Irving provided a stable home in rural Connecticut for their daughter Cynthia, her two sisters, and twin brothers. She attended Dana Hill boarding school in Massachusetts, where she developed self-reliance. During her youth, Voigt read books that stimulated her mind and imagination and influenced her to become a writer. She graduated from Smith College in 1963 and began working for an advertising agency in New York City.
In 1964 she married and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she attended college long enough to earn a teaching certificate. Previously, she had vowed never to teach, but she discovered that she loved her young students and the classroom setting. In 1965 she moved to the East Coast and taught at Glen Burnie, Maryland, and then at The Key School in Annapolis. In 1971, her daughter, Jessica, was born. That same year, she divorced her husband. In 1974 she married Walter Voigt, a teacher of classical languages at The Key School. In 1977 her son, Peter (Duffle), was born. A reduced teaching schedule allowed her to begin writing Tell Me if the Lovers Are Losers and The Callender...
(The entire section is 687 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
IntroductionCynthia Voigt is all about family. Though her written work covers a wide variety of topics, she is best known for the Tillerman saga, a series of family stories played out over seven books. The abandonment of the Tillerman children in the first book of the series serves as the catalyst for the entire cycle as the children struggle to find some sense of normalcy. For writers of previous generations, the nuclear family was the norm in children’s literature. But in the nontraditional worlds Voigt created, she writes beautifully of children whose background and parentage had previously been underrepresented.
- Before embarking on her career as a writer of youth fiction, Voigt worked in both advertising and education.
- Voigt was born in Boston and educated at Smith College. As a result, Massachusetts settings recur in her writing.
- Voigt’s writing process is, by her own description, something akin to assembling a puzzle: once ideas begin to formulate, she writes to see how the pieces fit together.
- Though the Tillerman cycle is her most famous, Voigt has written several others, including the Kingdom series that, unlike the rest of her work, takes place in the medieval period.
- The second book in Voigt’s Tillerman cycle, Dicey’s Song, won the prestigious Newbery Medal, an honor specifically created for achievement in children’s literature.
Bibliography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
“Cynthia Voigt.” In Children’s Literature Review, edited by Alan Hedbled and Thomas McMahon. Vol. 48. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Article includes major works, biography, analysis of major works, interviews, and commentaries.
“Profile of Cynthia Voigt.” In Fifth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators, edited by Sally Holmes Holtze. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1983. Voigt tells of her childhood ambition to become a writer, authors who influenced her, her education, marriage, and family. Includes a bibliography.
Reid, Suzanne Elizabeth. Presenting Cynthia Voigt. New York: Twayne, 1995. This biography...
(The entire section is 114 words.)