American elementary school teacher harry henderson author biography essay science fiction and fantasy author.
Henderson was born during 1917 in Tucson, Arizona, the daughter of Louis Rudolph Chlarson and Emily Vernell Rowley. She was the oldest of five children. She began reading science fiction at age 12 from magazines such as Astounding Stories, Amazing Stories, and fantasy harry henderson author biography essay Weird Tales. She cited Heinlein, Bradbury, Clement, and Asimov as her favorite science fiction writers.
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She received a bachelor of arts in education from Arizona State College during 1940, and taught school, primarily in the Tucson area, mainly first grade. In 1955 she received her MA, also from Arizona State College, and continued to teach elementary school. Henderson was one of the first 203 female science fiction authors to publish in American science fiction magazines between 1926 and 1960. She never used a male pseudonym. In an essay on the increase in women authors of science fiction in 1950, Sam Merwin mentioned her as an up-and-coming woman SF writer. Her work has been referred to as feminist, but perhaps more accurately is cited as pre-feminist.
Some feminist critics disliked the gender stereotypes present in her fiction, though her work depicts middle-aged and old women as well as women’s relationships. Henderson was born and baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Though she never renounced her membership, after her marriage, she was no longer a churchgoing Latter-day Saint. Zenna Henderson died of cancer during 1983 in Tucson, Arizona, and was buried in the St. Most of Henderson’s stories emphasize the theme of being different and the dangers therein.
They often feature children or young people. Most are part of her series concerning the history of «The People», humanoid beings from a faraway planet who are forced to emigrate to Earth when their home world is destroyed by a natural disaster. Henderson’s years as a school teacher helped her to write believable child characters. A common conflict in Henderson’s stories is when a child has unusual powers that a school teacher discovers through observation. Henderson mentions mental illness in several tales, including obsessive-compulsive disorder in «Swept and Garnished», and agoraphobia in «Incident After».
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