Natalie Babbitt, the children’s author and illustrator who explored immortality in her acclaimed book “Tuck Everlasting,” has died in her Connecticut home. She was 84.
Babbitt’s husband, Samuel Babbitt, confirmed she passed away on Monday in Hamden, Connecticut. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was under hospice care at home when she died.
Babbitt wrote or illustrated more than 20 books, but she is perhaps best known for tackling the complex subject of death in her novel “Tuck Everlasting.”
The book follows 15-year-old Winnie Foster and the Tuck family, who has to come to terms with living forever after drinking from a spring that grants eternal life. The novel was made into a film in 1981 and inspired a Disney motion picture in 2002. It was also adapted into a stage musical.
Fans and the literary world remembered Babbitt’s work on Twitter.
Born and raised in Ohio, Babbitt grew up wanting to be an illustrator and went on to study art at Smith College.
In 1966, she collaborated with her husband on a children’s book called “The Forty-ninth Magician,” her first published work. While her husband, a university administrator, became too busy to continue writing, the book was only the beginning in Babbitt’s nearly 50-year career. Her last published work was “The Moon Over High Street” in 2012.
Babbitt received the Newbery Honor Medal, the American Library Association’s Notable Book designations, and The New York Times’ Best Book designations, among other awards for her work.