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‘Carrie’s War’ author Nina Bawden dies at 87

- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LONDON (AP) - British writer Nina Bawden, who wrote children's classics including the World War II story "Carrie's War," died Wednesday. She was 87.

Her son, Robert Bawden, said the author died at her London home. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Bawden wrote more than 40 novels for adults and children, including "The Peppermint Pig," "The Runaway Summer" and "Carrie's War," which drew on her experience as a wartime evacuee from London.

Her children's books won praise for their mix of incident-rich plots and realistic child's-eye views of the world.

"Carrie's War" has been filmed twice by the BBC and is read by British schoolchildren as part of the national curriculum.

Bawden's adult novel "Circles Of Deceit" was shortlisted for the 1987 Booker Prize.

The writer became a campaigner for rail safety and victims' rights after her husband Austen Kark was killed in a train crash in 2002. Bawden was seriously injured in the same accident, when a high-speed train derailed at Potters Bar, north of London.

Her last published book, "Dear Austen," dealt with the crash _ which killed seven people and injured more than 70 _ and its aftermath.

Playwright David Hare, who included Bawden as a character in his play about railways, "The Permanent Way," said the novelist was "an uncomplicatedly good woman, whose long fight to obtain justice for the victims of the Potters Bar crash was a model of eloquence, principle and human decency."

Bawden's publisher, Lennie Goodings of Virago Press, said she was "a gently fierce, clever, elegant, wickedly funny woman."

"She wrote slim books, but they were powerful and extraordinarily acute observations about what makes us human," Goodings said. "I think she was especially good on what goes on behind the facade of good behavior."

Bawden is survived by her son, two step-daughters, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

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