Kate Seredy Biography

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Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Kate Seredy was born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 10, 1899, to Louis Peter Seredy, a gifted teacher, and Anna Irany Seredy. After high school, Seredy attended the Academy of Arts in Budapest for six years, where she received her art teacher's diploma. She served as a nurse in World War I and subsequently took summer courses in Paris, Rome, and Berlin from 1918 to 1922.

Seredy immigrated to the United States in 1922 and worked as an artist, designing book covers and greeting cards and illustrating textbooks and children's literature. A chance suggestion from editor May Massee of Viking Press that Seredy try to write a story about her childhood in Hungary started her career as a writer in her newly acquired English language. Her first book. The Good Master, was written with great effort in longhand but was promptly accepted for publication. Intensely pictorial, her novels begin with a series of visual images around which a narrative develops. Many of her later books were based on childhood stories her father told her or on a trip she and her father took to the Hungarian plains when she was nine. Seredy illustrated her own books, and she was highly respected as both an author and an illustrator, winning the Newbery Medal in 1938 for The White Stag. Her last book, Lazy Tinka, was published in 1962.

Although she briefly attempted to run a children's bookstore in 1933 and later tried to manage a one-hundred-acre farm in New York, Seredy eventually devoted herself full-time to writing and illustrating children's and young adult books. She died in Middletown, New York, on March 7, 1975.

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Kate Seredy was born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 10, 1899. Her father was Louis Peter Seredy, a gifted teacher, and her mother was Anna Irany Seredy. After high school, Kate Seredy attended the Academy of Arts in Budapest for six years, where she received her art teacher's diploma. She served as a nurse in World War I and from 1918 until 1922 studied art each summer in Paris, Rome, and Berlin.

Seredy immigrated to the United States in 1922 and worked as an artist and illustrator of children's books until 1935. She also designed book covers and greeting cards. One day editor May Massee of Viking Press casually suggested that Seredy write a story about her childhood in Hungary. This exercise started her career as a writer in English, a language she had recently mastered.

Seredy published her first book, The Good Master, in 1935. All of her novels are intensely pictorial; she begins with a series of visual images around which she develops a narrative plot. Many of her later books were based on childhood stories her father told her, or upon memories of a trip she took with her father to visit the Hungarian plains when she was nine. Seredy illustrated her own books, and she was highly regarded as both a writer and illustrator for young adults, winning the Newbery Medal in 1938 for The White Stag. Her last book, Lazy Tinka, was published in 1962.

For a year, in 1933, Seredy ran a children's bookstore. It did not succeed, but from her experience she learned what children really like to read. She also tried to run a one-hundred-acre farm in Orange County, New York, before she finally gave up farming as too demanding and moved to Hamilton, New York, to devote herself full-time to writing and illustration. Seredy died in Middletown, New York, on March 7, 1975.