Tanith Lee, acclaimed author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, died peacefully on 24 May 2015, age 67, after a long illness.
The daughter of professional dancers Bernard and Hylda Lee, Lee was born 19 September 1947 in London, England. When Lee died, she left behind her husband, John Kaiine, a writer and artist, whom she married in 1992. John (born 1967) has held jobs as an artist, photographer, writer, and gravedigger.
Tanith Lee's mother, Hylda (unknown) Lee, died in 1980.
Her first publications were works for children, but she soon turned to fiction for adults. Her bibliography included over 90 books and 300 short stories, as well as poetry and works for radio and television, and she was the first woman to win the British Fantasy Award for her 1980 novel Death's Master, and she won the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story in 1983 and 1984, and she received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the World Fantasy Convention and the Horror Writers Association (HWA), in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
The April 1998 edition of Locus Magazine included an interview with Tanith Lee, which has been excerpted at Locus Online. In that interview, Tanith Lee shared that she wrote by longhand, later transcribing her work on a typewriter, and provided a bit of information about her origins as a reader and writer:
"When I started as a writer, I knew nothing about publishing – nothing about anything! I didn't learn to read until I was nearly eight. My father had to teach me. My mother used to tell me fairy stories, most of which she made up herself, which were wonderful – and many of which I've ripped off for things, subsequently! When I was nine, about a year after I learned how to read, I started to write. Most of my earliest stuff is very Arabian Nights-orientated. Caravans going through the desert... kind of an early version of my later 'Flat Earth' books. And I never stopped writing from then."
In addition to the obituary in Locus, there are numerous obituaries available online for her, including:
"England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVXT-7H4B : accessed 27 May 2015), Tanith Lee and null, Apr 1992; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : 2012); citing Marriage Registration, Bexley, Kent, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.