For the past five years, every time I’ve gone into a bookstore, I’ve checked under “R” in the hopes that I’ll see a new Louise Rennison title. And for the past five years, there’s been nothing.
And now I know why that is. Turns out that Louise Rennison was another casualty of 2016. I’m not sure how I missed it, and I feel bad to have not known sooner.
I think this is the first time that an author whose work I truly loved has died. I was certainly sad when Sir Terry Pratchett passed on, but his works weren’t formative for me. They weren’t the thing that I devoured over and over again. I didn’t refuse to go anywhere without a Discworld book in my backpack, or dive for a Tiffany Aching novel when I was feeling especially depressed, or dress up as Granny Waxwing for Halloween.
But I did all of that for Louise Rennison’s work.
It feels like such a loss to suddenly know, with utmost certainty, that there will never be a new book on that shelf. I have a sudden urge to re-read the books that I do have, to rearrange my bookshelf so that they’re in a prominent place, to wear a beret with gloves pinned to the sides, to do something to show that I remember this author and her work and all that it meant to me over the better part of a decade. I’m struck by how little I can actually do, almost three years after she passed away.
I’m not sure what to do, except to re-read her books and remember just how good the time I spent with Lousie Rennison’s work was. And it really was good. It was fabbitty fab fab.