Published On: Fri, Jul 29th, 2022

Charlotte Pomerantz, Inventive Children’s Book Author, Dies at 92

Her first children’s book, “The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep,” was published in 1965.

“I started writing because it was the only thing I was ever good at,” Ms. Pomerantz said in the Alchetron interview.

Her books reflected all sorts of influences, including James Joyce: One book, “Here Comes Henny” (1994, illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker), was inspired by a passage in “Finnegans Wake,” her daughter, Dr. Marzani, said. Ms. Pomerantz’s son, Daniel, had asthma problems as a child that led the family to spend winters in Puerto Rico, and some of her stories were set there or incorporated Spanish.

Dr. Marzani said that her mother had also once written a play, “Jonah and the Humpback Whale,” and that she had recently been arranging a performance of it in her apartment building in Charlottesville — to be held at high tea on her birthday

“The group had been practicing for months,” she said, “meeting weekly, with Mom directing from her wheelchair.”

Her mother, she said, had lapsed into unconsciousness in the days before her death, but the group performed the piece for her at her bedside anyway the day before her death. She died a few minutes after midnight on her birthday, but the group also carried out her wish and performed it again later that day at high tea.

Carl Marzani died in 1994. In addition to her daughter, Ms. Pomerantz is survived by her son, Daniel Marzani; her domestic partner, Robert Murtha; a stepson, Anthony Marzani; Jason Olivencia, a longtime member of the family whom she considered a son and who aided in her end-of-life care; a grandson; and two step-grandchildren.

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