Mem Fox

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Mem Fox is one of Australia’s most well-known current authors, and she writes a lot of children’s books. She was born in Australia but raised in Africa, where she experienced racism. Her parents were missionaries, and she came from a line of educated women, including her grandmother and mother. She followed in their footsteps, as well as her own enthusiasm for acting, which led her to enroll in a drama school in London. At university, she majored in children’s literature, which helped her better understand children and their needs. During her academic days, she worked on an assignment that was later turned into a book, and after being rejected by a number of publishing firms, the ‘Omnibus’ publishers consented to publish it. ‘Possum Magic’ was the title of this book, and it was a best-seller as soon as it was released. Fox began her career as a novelist after the success of her first book. Since then, she has written a number of children’s books as well as a few non-fiction works. Even now, most people associate her name with ‘Possum Magic.’ She adores writing and has continued to do so to this day.

Childhood and Adolescence

Mem Fox was born on March 5, 1946, in Melbourne, Australia, to Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and Nancy. She was baptized Merrion Frances Partridge. Her family moved to Africa when she was six months old. Jan Delacourt and Alison Partridge are her younger sisters.
Her parents were missionaries, and her father worked at Zimbabwe’s ‘Hope Fountain Mission’ (formerly known as Rhodesia). As a result, she spent her formative years on the mission.

She spent her early schooling in a school where she was the only white student and had a large number of African-American friends. However, because it was illegal for a white youngster to be among black students, school officials requested her parents transfer her to a white school.

She enrolled in a school with solely white pupils when she was six years old, but she felt out of place. She didn’t have any friends there, and her African-English accent was mocked.
With her mother’s guidance, she began public speaking when she was in high school. This is likely to have aided her greatly in her later life.

She moved to London in the early 1960s and enrolled in a theater school, where she studied for three years. She practiced her accent, learned how to act, and even performed a few songs. She developed an interest in coloring her hair around this time and made it a habit.

Mem Fox’s Career

She met Malcolm Fox, whom she subsequently married, at theater school. The couple moved to Rwanda in 1969, where Malcolm worked as a volunteer and Mem worked as an English teacher.
Her grandpa Wilfrid Partridge lived in Adelaide, South Australia, thus the couple moved there in 1970. She enrolled in ‘Flinders University,’ where she pursued a master’s degree in children’s literature.

She worked on an assignment at university that created the premise for her debut book, ‘Possum Magic.’ This book was published in 1983, and she has subsequently written a number of other publications, including children’s books and a few non-fiction works.

‘Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge,’ ‘A Cat Called Kite,’ ‘Zoo-Looking,’ ‘Arabella, the Smallest Girl in the World,’ ‘Hattie and the Fox,’ ‘Just Like That,’ and ‘Sail Away: The Ballad of Skip and Nell’ were among the works she wrote in the 1980s.

‘The Straight Line Wonder,’ ‘A Bedtime Story,’ ‘Goodnight Sleep Tight,’ ‘Guess What?,’ ‘Koala Lou,’ ‘With Love at Christmas,’ ‘Night Noises,’ ‘Feathers and Fools,’ ‘Shoes from Grandpa,’ and ‘Sophie’ were all written during the same time period.

During the 1980s, she also wrote three non-fiction books, including ‘Thereby Hangs a Tale’ and ‘How to Teach Drama to Infants Without Really Crying’ (which was renamed ‘Teaching Drama to Young Children’ in the United States).

‘English essentials: the wouldn’t-be-without-it guide to writing well’ and ‘Radical reflections: impassioned ideas on teaching, learning, and life are two of her nonfiction publications from the 1990s.
She wrote many children’s books during the 1990s, including ‘Time for Bed,’ ‘Tough Boris,’ ‘Wombat Divine,’ ‘Boo to a Goose,’ ‘Whoever You Are,’ ‘Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge,’ and ‘Sleepy Bears.’

She signed her autobiography, ‘Mem’s the Word,’ in 1990, and it was published in the United States as ‘Dear Mem Fox,’ two years after it was published in Australia.

From 2000 to 2010, she wrote a slew of children’s books, including ‘Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Crazy!’, ‘The Magic Hat,’ ‘Where Is The Green Sheep?’, ‘Hunwick’s Egg,’ ‘A Particular Cow,’ ‘Where the Giant Sleeps,’ ‘Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes,’ ‘Hello, Baby,’ ‘A Giraffe in the
‘The Little Dragon,’ ‘Two Little Monkeys,’ and ‘Reading Magic’ are among her most recent works.

Her Major Works

‘Possum Magic’ was Mem Fox’s first book, and it was the book that launched her career as a novelist. Julie Vivas contributed the artwork for this book. This novel hit a snag when publishers decided it wasn’t worth publishing. However, it received widespread acclaim and even became a best-seller after being published by the ‘Omnibus publisher. In 1984, this book won the ‘New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards.’

Achievements & Awards

She won the ‘New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in 1984 for her work ‘Possum Magic.’
In 1990, she was awarded the ‘Dromkeen Medal’ for her outstanding contributions to children’s literature. She was given the ‘Advance Australian Award’ the following year.
She won a medal at the ‘Australia Day Honours awards in 1993, and the ‘Flinders University Chancellor’s Medal’ the following year.

She received the ‘Convocation Medal’ from ‘Flinders University in 2001, as well as the ‘SA Great Award’ in the same year. The following year, she was awarded the ‘Woman of Achievement award by ‘Zonta International.’
She was awarded the ‘Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal’ in 2003. The ‘Speech Pathology Association’ of Australia also presented her with the ‘Children’s Language and Literature Achievement Award.’

Personal History and Legacy

Malcolm Fox, whom she met at a London theatre school, was her first love, and they married in 1969. Chlo Fox, the couple’s daughter, was born to them.
Chlo went on to become a journalist, a teacher, and a Member of Parliament for the South Australian state of Bright.

The ‘University of Wollongong’ awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1996. She was also awarded honorary doctorates from the South Australian University of Flinders and the ‘University of Technology’.

Estimated Net worth

Mem is one of the wealthiest children’s authors, as well as one of the most popular. Mem Fox’s net worth is estimated to be $8 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.