Margaret Mahy was born in Whakatane, New Zealand on March 21, 1936. She began writing before she could write, creating poems that she memorized.
She attended the Auckland University College, and worked as a school and public librarian in Christchurch until 1980, when she retired to focus full-time on writing.
Her first book, A Lion in the Meadow, was published in 1969. She won the British Library Association’s Carnegie Medal twice, for The Haunting in 1982, and The Changeover in 1984 and the New Zealand Library Association’s Esther Glen Medal five times. In 1993, she received her country’s highest honor, the Order of New Zealand.
Mahy died on July 23, 2012.