Jean Merrill Biography

Jean Merrill
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Jean Fairbanks Merrill was born January 27, 1923, in Rochester, New York. She and her two younger sisters enjoyed the freedom of country life when the family moved from Rochester to the apple and dairy farm which became their childhood home. Their entertainment was spontaneous and self-initiated. Sitting with her sisters at their mother's knee as she read aloud to them in the evenings, Merrill developed a love for literature.

Merrill received a bachelor's degree in English and drama from Allegheny College and earned a master's degree in English from Wellesley College. Her formal education culminated with a Fulbright Scholarship to Madras University, where she studied Indian folklore. These studies are reflected in her books Shan's Lucky Knife (1960) and High, Wide and Handsome (1964). She has published many books for young readers including her most popular, The Pushcart War, a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award Winner.

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