Sunday, October 18, 2009

In Memory of Norma Fox Mazer

I'm lighting a lamp this morning in memory of Norma Fox Mazer. Norma passed away October 16th 17th. She was a beloved wife to Harry Mazer, a mother, and a shining light in our field, a dear friend and mentor to innumerable others on the writing path. She made you want to braid your hair, smile, and commit to translating your deepest passions into story. She was tough and insistent as an advisor, students said. She wouldn't let up. She argued for structure. In a 2002 lecture she gave at Vermont College she said, "If you haven't built your house well, even splendid furniture will get rained on and your characters will be wandering, homeless and sniveling." Norma herself built astonishing stories, strong and vital. Her YA novel, The Missing Girl, is a masterpiece of viewpoint in which the brief, taut narratives of multiple characters weave together into an unforgettable tapestry. In all her writing, Norma did that thing that Kurosawa said artists must do--she never averted her eyes.

Go in peace, dear Norma.


  1. So true, Uma. She never averted her eyes and she taught others to tell the truth too--and to build the foundation, the walls, the roof so not any part of the book sagged. She was and is a master.

  2. Beautiful tribute, Uma. You wrote that Norma was tough and insistant as an advisor... just like another advisor I know! Blessings to Norma's family.