Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Elaine Lobl Konigsburg (KUH-nihgs-burg) has been recognized as a distinguished author of children’s literature since the publication of her first two novels in 1967, after her children began attending school. Although she thoroughly enjoyed reading even as a child, the young Elaine Lobl never considered becoming a writer. She grew up in small mill towns in Pennsylvania, where little emphasis was placed on the arts or higher education. However, as the valedictorian of her class, she planned to fund her college expenses by working. Having graduated from high school, she took a job for a year as a bookkeeper. At this time she met the man she eventually married, David Konigsburg. The following year she attended Carnegie Mellon University as a chemistry major.
After graduation and marriage, Konigsburg lived for several years in Florida, where she worked as a science teacher in a private girls’ school, an experience that provided her with thematic ideas that later emerged in her writing. She realized that affluence alone does little to resolve the emerging problems children experience in establishing themselves as individuals. She left teaching in 1955 to become a full-time mother.
After her family moved to New York and her children enrolled in school, Konigsburg decided to develop her talents as writer and illustrator. She targeted the middle-age child, employing her own children as models for illustrations and as critics of the text. In this...
(The entire section is 590 words.)
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Bibliography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Hanks, Dorrel Thomas, Jr. E. L. Konigsburg. New York: Twayne, 1992. Discusses the themes and elements of Konigsburg’s work in roughly chronological order, including comparisons to works by other authors.
Harris, Laurie Lanzen, and Cherie D. Abbey, eds. “E. L. Konigsburg.” In Biography Today: Profiles of People of Interest to Young Readers. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1997. Provides a photo of Konigsburg and brief biographical material.
McGrath, Joan. “E(laine) L(obl) Konigsburg.” In St. James Guide to Children’s Writers. 5th ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1999. Profiles Konigsburg’s works. Includes biographical details regarding early employment.
Rees, David. “E. L. Konigsburg.” In The Marble in the Water: Essays on Contemporary Writers of Fiction for Children and Young Adults. Boston: Horn Book, 1980. Explores similarities and differences between works of fiction for children in England and the United States.