Jones, Diana Wynne

Language: English

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Published: Sep 25, 2012

Words: 114805
Pages: 425


This collection of more than twenty-five critical essays, speeches, and biographical pieces chosen by Diana Wynne Jones before her death in 2011 is essential reading for the author's many fans and for students and teachers of the fantasy genre and creative writing in general. The volume includes insightful literary criticism alongside autobiographical anecdotes, revelations about the origins of the author's books, and reflections about the life of an author and the value of writing for young people. Reflections* features the author's final interview, a foreword by award-winning author Neil Gaiman, and an introduction by Charlie Butler, a senior lecturer in English at the University of West England in Bristol. From School Library Journal Putting her papers together in the face of her impending death, Jones chose and arranged these lectures, articles, and reviews written between 1978 and 2008 to encapsulate her beliefs about writing, writing for children, and fantasy. Ranging from literary criticism to autobiography, the 28 pieces illustrate her insight, her humor, and the mastery of her craft. She describes how magic and humor work, discusses the nature of heroes, the uses of mythology, and the value of learning Anglo-Saxon. Other selections reflect on the magic of the "Narnia" books, the nature of "Real Books," and the orchestration of a narrative. Because this volume is a gathering of pieces written over many years, topics and episodes are repeated, like recurring melodies in a long piece of music. One of the most important themes is that humans-children and adults-need fantasy. In some ways, her entire oeuvre is a reaction to a childhood in which fantasy literature was denied, as revealed in the long essay she wrote for Something About the Author and included here. An interview with the book's editor, Charlie Butler, and reminiscences by two of her sons wrap up the collection. Readers who have known and loved the author's vast body of work will nod and laugh, rejoice that they can return to works like the "Chrestomanci" series, and mourn the fact that there will be no more.-Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MDα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. About the Author In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards—and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter—her books were filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy. In addition to being translated into more than twenty languages, her books have earned a wide array of honors—including two *Boston Globe-Horn Book* Award Honors and the *Guardian* Award—and appeared on countless best-of-the-year lists. Her best-selling Howl's *Moving Castle* was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and was nominated for an Academy Award. Diana Wynne Jones was also honored with many prestigious awards for the body of her work. She was given the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999 for having made a significant impact on fantasy, and she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in 2007.