Gail Haley

Biography of Gail Haley

Gail E. Haley (born 1939) is an American author and illustrator. She has won the annual awards for children's book illustration from both the American and British librarians, for two different picture books. She won the 1971 Caldecott Medal for A Story a Story (Atheneum Books, 1970), which she retold from an African folk tale, and the 1976 Kate Greenaway Medal for The Post Office Cat, her own historical fiction about a London post office.

Haley was born Gail Einhart in Charlotte, North Carolina. At The Charlotte Observer where her father was art director, she later recalled, "In the art department and pressrooms I soaked up the exciting smells and sounds of the graphic arts. I've had printer's ink and rubber cement in my veins ever since." She studied at Richmond Professional Institute and the University of Virginia (graphics and painting).

She married mathematician Joseph A. Haley in 1959. Her debut book both as writer and as illustrator was My Kingdom for a Dragon, published in 1962 by Crozet Print Shop of Crozet, Virginia. It was printed from wood and linoleum blocks in a limited edition of 1000 that she helped bind and sell. After a divorce she married Arnold Arnold in 1966 and they lived in England from 1973 to 1980. The Post Office Cat, which is set in a British post office, was published in 1976 both by Scribner in America and The Bodley Head in Britain. She was eligible to win the British Greenaway Medal as a resident.

There are at least two Gail E. Haley archives ("Papers").

For at least three decades Haley has "presented workshops, story telling, art demonstrations and puppetry programs in schools and libraries throughout the USA, Canada, England and Australia." (official website)
Haley and Arnold live in New York (2007).

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