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Remembering Nancy Mairs

By Helene Atwan

Nancy MairsWe received news of the death of Nancy Mairs just yesterday. All of us at Beacon, including her first editor, Andy Hrycyna, so valued Nancy’s voice, as an accomplished essayist, as a pioneer in writing about women, about faith, about social justice, and about disability: always fearlessly, always with crystal clarity. She was also a tireless activist, attending demonstrations even when she had lost significant mobility. Everyone who knew her was surprised by her frank, unsentimental assessment of life from “waist-high,” by her generosity and humor, by her insightful and unabashed ability to speak the truth in essays of brilliance. All of us lucky enough to have spent time in her company will always treasure those times.

For all of our friends in the writing, feminist, disability, and social justice communities, take a few minutes to read this superb obituary by William Grimes. And join us in celebrating the life and work of Nancy Mairs.

Nancy Mairs titles


About the Author 

Helene Atwan has been director of Beacon Press since 1995.