Louise Rennison, best known for her beloved YA novel Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging and the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, has died, her publisher HarperCollins UK confirmed Monday.
“Nobody wrote for teenagers like she did, she understood them, their lives and their extraordinary and powerful friendships,” says HarperCollins UK in a statement. “In life, as in her writing, she brought joy and laughter. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and the readers whose lives she has touched for almost 20 years.” She was 63 years old.
A writer and comedian, Rennison was born in 1951 and grew up in Leeds, emigrating with her family to New Zealand when she was 15, then moving to Notting Hill, London in her twenties
Before introducing readers to the spunky, somewhat self-absorbed, and absolutely hysterical character Georgia Nicholson, Rennison toured England for about four years with a one-woman comedy show she wrote and starred in called Stevie Wonder Touched My Face, which was eventually turned into a TV special on BBC2. She followed the show with radio work and writing cheeky stories for a London newspaper. “I used to write articles on just everything I liked, really,” Rennison wrote on her website. “It was quite good fun. I wrote an article called ‘Dating Over 35’ and how pointless it is, because if you’re on your own after , that’s because there’s something wrong with you.”
When a publisher approached Rennison about writing a book about a teenage girl’s diary, she asked why her, and was told, “Well, we read your article and we thought it was so self-obsessed and so childish that you could really do a good job.”
Rennison based her protagonist, Georgia, and her experiences on her own 14-year-old self. “I wrote the book to make myself laugh,” Rennison wrote. “I always wrote what I remembered making me laugh when I was that age. I didn’t attempt to teach. I didn’t attempt to do anything except I wanted Georgia to be a decent person. I wanted her to be someone who is a bit stupid and self-obsessed and difficult and funny and rude, and a bit jealous, and all those other things. But I wanted her to have a good heart.”
For the uninitiated, here’s a glimpse into Georgia’s mind:
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging and its first sequel, It’s Ok, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers, were adapted into the 2008 film,Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging. But it’s Rennison’s brilliant books and unforgettable characters, like Georgia’s loves Robbie the Sex God and Dave the Laugh, and her nemesis Wet Lindsay, that fans remember most.
Below, other authors and publishing colleagues remember Rennison: