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...
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was born on February 10, 1930, in New York City. Her father, Adolph Lobl, a successful businessman, and her mother, Beulah Klein Lobl, provided their daughter a pleasant childhood. Konigsburg attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie-Mellon University, intending to become a chemist. She earned a bachelor of science degree in 1952 and studied chemistry in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh until 1954, when she married psychologist David Konigsburg. The two eventually settled in Jacksonville, Florida, where, after teaching science for two years in the public schools, Konigsburg settled down to raise her three children, Paul, Laurie, and Ross.
An uninspired scientist, Konigsburg found her true calling once her children had become more or less independent, and she turned to writing children's stories. Her books found a ready audience and received critical acclaim. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, her first novel, was an honor book in the Book Week Children's Spring Book Festival and a Newbery Honor Book for 1968. But the greater honor awaited From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which won the Newbery Medal in 1968 and a William Allen White Award in 1970. Konigsburg also earned an American Library Association Notable Book Award and a nomination for a National Book Award for A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver....
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Born in New York City on February 10, 1930, and raised in small Pennsylvania towns, Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was a chemist and a teacher before becoming a writer. Her scientist's interest in how things work has influenced her psychological exploration of her characters. Married to psychologist David Konigsburg, she has three children whose lives often inspire her books. She enjoyed drawing in grade school and resumed this pursuit after her middle child was born.
Konigsburg writes at home, protecting her writing time by making it her first priority. She is a careful and thorough researcher, and many of her books have required some kind of preliminary investigation on topics ranging from medieval history and schizophrenia to physical handicaps and museum security. She enjoys gardening, eating chocolate, and walking on the beach.
Konigsburg has garnered an impressive array of awards for her writing. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was a Newbery Honor Book in 1968, the same year that From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal. Father's Arcane Daughter received an International Reading Association's Children's Book Award, and Up from Jericho Telwas also selected for this award. Throwing Shadows was an American Library Association Notable Children's Book and an American Book Award nominee. A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver earned...
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was born on February 10, 1930, in New York City but spent most of her childhood in small towns in Pennsylvania. She worked her way through Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University by taking odd jobs: manager of a dormitory laundry, playground instructor, waitress, and library page. In 1952 she graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and married David Konigsburg that same year. Chemistry, however, did not prove to be her calling. In graduate school she blew up a lab sink—twice. While teaching at a private girls' school, Konigsburg found she was more interested in her students' thoughts and actions than in teaching science.
Konigsburg also found her own three children's behavior fascinating, and when her youngest son entered kindergarten, she began writing about their experiences and her insights into human behavior. Her first two books— Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler— were both published in 1967 and created an unprecedented critical sensation the following year when the former was named runner-up for the Newbery Medal, and the latter captured the coveted award. The author illustrated both books.
Konigsburg experiments in her books, taking the ordinary one step further and exploring the results. Her books are humorous, lively, unique, and a joy to read.
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was born in New York City on February 10, 1930, to Beulah Klein Lobl and Adolph Lobl, a businessman. She attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie-Mellon University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1952. She then studied chemistry in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh until 1954, when she married psychologist David Konigsburg.
The couple moved to Jacksonville, Florida; here Konigsburg taught science for two years before focusing her energies on rearing her three children. As they grew more responsible with age, Konisburg applied what she had learned raising them to the writing of fiction for children. Although never a practicing chemist, Konigsburg feels that the mental discipline scientific study and research taught her has been instrumental in her success as a writer. This mental rigor has allowed her to set aside distractions and concentrate on writing each morning.
She made a notable impression on literary critics and became of instant interest to adult readers with her first two novels for young adults. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a 1968 Newbery Honor Book, and From the Mixed- Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankzweiler (1967; see separate entry, Vol. 1) was the 1968 Newbery Award winner. Since then she has written and illustrated many books, most of them aimed at readers in late elementary grades or in junior high school, with...
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