Bonnie Christensen

It is with sadness we report on the passing of a dear friend and colleague. Bonnie Christensen died January 12 at the Vermont Respite House of ovarian cancer, just shy of her 64th birthday. Bonnie inspired us with her wit and love of life and her dedication to her craft.

As booksellers we admired her artistic skills, appreciated her storytelling talents, looked forward to hosting her book events, and enjoyed selling her books that covered a wide expanse of subjects from Django Reinhardt to Andy Warhol to Nellie Bly. She was a true believer in our indie bookstore and shared our vision of an independent life.

Bonnie created beautiful children’s books. “Of her more than 20 titles, the most acclaimed was "Woodie Guthrie: Poet of the People" (Alfred A. Knopf), which won the Horn Book - Boston Globe Honor Award and inspired praise for its subtle images, which Booklist described as "sinewy and emotionally compelling." It was also named a New York Times Notable Book. Neal Porter, her editor at Macmillan, said she "infused all her books with wit, a keen intelligence, and unbridled beauty." (bfp, 1/24/15)

More importantly, Bonnie was a steadfast and wonderful friend. Mike and I had a lovely visit with her and her daughter Emily in Venice in 2001. We were grateful for our friendship and the opportunity she gave us to share her books, her art, her grand sense of fun, and her unique views on life’s vagaries. We will miss Bonnie dearly. A memorial service is planned for March 21 at the All Soul’s Interfaith Gathering.

--Renee Reiner
co-owner, Phoenix Books

Bonnie's obituary in the Burlington Free Press
and in Seven Days