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‘Brilliant’ columnist and author Michele Hanson dies

A Guardian columnist for more than 30 years, she also wrote a number of books, including What the Grown-ups Were Doing and Living With Mother

    Michele Hanson, the long-time Guardian columnist, died last week (Photo: The Guardian, YouTube)
    Michele Hanson, the long-time Guardian columnist, died last week (Photo: The Guardian, YouTube)

    Michele Hanson, the long-time newspaper columnist and writer, has died aged 75.

    Ms Hanson, who was born in London to a non-observant Jewish family, suffered a stroke and fell into a coma on March 1, passing away the following day.

    A Guardian columnist for more than 30 years, she also wrote a number of books, including What the Grown-ups Were Doing and Living With Mother.

    Ms Hanson was perhaps best known for her columns on raising her teenage daughter, whom she referred to as “Treasure”. Her 1993 book Treasure: The Trials of a Teenage Terror was based on these pieces.

    Her writing covered both observations on the everyday and comments on wider societal issues, from the ecological effects of manmade waste to the cruelty of factory-farmed poultry.

    Kira Cochrane, the newspaper’s head of features, described her as “a joy” to work with, who was “as brilliant in person as she was on the page”.

    She said: “A coffee with Michele always led to her sharing the most incredible – and often unrepeatable – stories.

    “I always came away feeling very lucky that the Guardian was the place where she told all the stories that were fit to print, for her ever growing army of devoted readers.

    “I’m so sad we won’t have a chance to hear more of her stories, and so glad she shared so many with us over the years. I’ll miss her as a writer, a columnist and a friend, as I know her readers will, too.”

    Born in London in 1942 and raised in Ruislip, she was the only child of Arthur Hanson, who ran a factory making women’s fashion accessories, the Guardian wrote this week.

    She was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school, which was then in Acton, west London, before attending art school, and then training as a teacher.

    She was a trustee of the Small Steps Project, a charity established by her daughter, Amy, and was planning to write a biography of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

    Ms Hanson’s close friend Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader and MP of Islington North, where she lived, described her as a “wonderful, witty, zany, humane, caring and ever decent part of our community and life”.

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