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    Must be nice: Beverly Cleary’s old mansion listed for $1.8 million.

    Janet Manley

    June 1, 2023, 8:48am

    Beezus and Ramona, the first book by Beverly Cleary in her beloved Ramona series, came out in 1955, so I can’t beat myself up too much for not having written it myself. And yet. Cleary’s old Berkeley mansion was listed this week for $1.8 million—a 50s charmer designed for Cleary by midcentury Chinese-American architect Roger Lee.

    It features the glass-walled views, terraced steps, and mustard backsplash of your mid-century Californian dreams, raising the question why indeed did you not think of inventing Ramona Quimby and her world? (On which note, did you know Sarah Polley, writer-director of the film adaptation of Miriam Toews’ Women Talking, got her start playing Ramona in a CHCH adaptation of the series? The legacy gives and gives!)

    Cleary sold the property in 1968, and lived to age 104 in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It wasn’t all multi-million-dollar mansions, though. She grew up in a place called Yamhill, Oregon, and her father lost his job in the Great Depression; an event that inspired Ramona and her Father. Cleary was an aspiring librarian, and completed a B.A. in English at UC Berkeley, and later a B.A. in librarianship from the University of Washington.

    A UC Berkeley alumni page notes that she “started writing books in her early 30s, after a miscarriage and a period of depression,” and was most proud of the fact her kids liked her books. You really can’t hold the real estate against her! More pics here.

    [h/t/ The Mercury News]

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