Diana Wynne Jones

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Diana Wynne Jones

Born: August 16, 1934
London (England)
Occupation: Novelist
Nationality: British
Genres: Fantasy
Website: website

Diana Wynne Jones (born London August 16, 1934) is a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. Some of her better-known works include the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.


[edit] Biography

Jones was born in London on 16 August 1934, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were educators. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an educational conference centre. There, Jones and her two younger sisters Isobel (later Professor Isobel Armstrong, the literary critic) and Ursula spent a neglected childhood in which they were left chiefly to their own devices. After attending the Friends School Saffron Walden, she studied English at St Anne’s College in Oxford, and where she attended lectures by both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien before graduating in 1956. In the same year she married John Burrow, a scholar of medieval literature, with whom she has had three sons, Richard, Michael and Colin. After a brief period in London, in 1957 the couple returned to Oxford, where they stayed until moving to Bristol in 1976.

Jones' books range from a broad, almost slapstick delight in the construction of absurd-yet-logical situations (especially evident in the endings of some of her books), to sharp social observation, to witty parody of literary forms. Foremost amongst the latter are her Tough Guide to Fantasyland, and its fictional companion-pieces Dark Lord of Derkholm (1998) and The Year of the Griffin (2000), which provide a merciless (though not unaffectionate) critique of formulaic sword-and-sorcery epics.

The Harry Potter books are frequently compared to the works of Diana Wynne Jones. Many of her earlier children's books were out of print in recent years, but have now been re-issued for the young audience whose interest in fantasy and reading was spurred by Harry Potter. [1]

Jones' works are also compared to those of Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman. She is friends with Gaiman, and they are both fans of each others' work; she dedicated her novel Hexwood to him after something he said in a conversation inspired a key part of the plot. He repaid the compliment (somewhat cheekily) by dedicating his comic book mini-series The Books of Magic to "four witches", one of whom being Jones.

Charmed Life, the first book in the Chrestomanci series, won the 1977 Guardian Award for Children’s Books. Jones was runner-up for the Children’s Book Award in 1981, and was twice runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. In 1999, she won two major fantasy awards: the children’s section of the Mythopeic Award in the USA, and the Karl Edward Wagner Award in the UK, which is awarded by the British Fantasy Society to individuals or organisations who have made a significant impact on fantasy.

Her book Howl's Moving Castle was adapted as a Japanese animated movie in 2004, by filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. A version dubbed into English was released in the USA in 2005, with the voice of Howl performed by Christian Bale.

Her non-fiction work on clichés in fantasy fiction, The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, has a cult following as a reference among writers and critics, despite being difficult to find due to an erratic printing history. It was recently reissued in the UK, and has been reissued in the USA in 2006 by Firebird Books. The Firebird edition has additional material and a completely new design, including a new map.

In July 2006 she was awarded an honorary D.Litt from the University of Bristol.

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Fiction

[edit] Chrestomanci series

In order of internal chronology:

  1. The Lives of Christopher Chant [1988: Carnegie Medal Commended]
  2. Conrad's Fate (2005)
  3. Charmed Life [1977: Carnegie Medal Commended; 1978: Guardian Award; Preis der Leseratten (ZDF Schülerexpress, Germany)]
  4. The Magicians of Caprona (1980)
  5. The Pinhoe Egg (2006)
  • Mixed Magics (short stories of varying internal dates)
  • Witch Week (separate from other books in series, but set in same era as Charmed Life) (1982)

[edit] Derkholm series

  1. Dark Lord of Derkholm [1999: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award ] See also Jones' remarks on winning the award.
  2. Year of the Griffin

[edit] Dalemark Quartet

  1. Cart and Cwidder (1975)
  2. Drowned Ammet (1977)
  3. The Spellcoats (1979)
  4. Crown of Dalemark (1993)

[edit] Castle series

  1. Howl's Moving Castle 1986: Honor book for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
  2. Castle in the Air 1992: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, nominated

[edit] Magids series

[edit] Short Stories

  • "Chair Person" in Stopping for a Spell
  • "The Four Grannies" in Stopping for a Spell
  • "Little Dot" in Firebirds
  • "I'll Give You My Word" in Firebirds Rising
  • "Who Got Rid of Angus Flint?" in Stopping for a Spell

[edit] Miscellaneous

[edit] Collections

  • Believing is Seeing
  • Everard's Ride
  • Fantasy Stories (editor)
  • Hidden Turnings (editor)
  • Minor Arcana
  • Stopping for a Spell
  • Unexpected Magic
  • Warlock at the Wheel and Other Stories (contains two Chrestomanci stories, both also in Mixed Magics)

[edit] Non-Fiction or Poetry

[edit] Books About DWJ

[edit] External links

Books by Diana Wynne Jones

Chrestomanci series: The Lives of Christopher ChantConrad's FateCharmed LifeThe Magicians of CapronaThe Pinhoe EggMixed MagicsWitch Week

Dalemark Quartet: Cart and CwidderDrowned AmmetThe SpellcoatsThe Crown of Dalemark

Castle series: Howl's Moving CastleCastle in the Air

Derkholm series: Dark Lord of DerkholmYear of the Griffin

Magids series: Deep SecretThe Merlin Conspiracy

Other: Archer's GoonDogsbodyEight Days of LukeFire and HemlockHexwoodThe Homeward BoundersPower of ThreeA Tale of Time CityThe Time of the GhostMore...

NAME Jones, Diana Wynne
SHORT DESCRIPTION Children's writer
DATE OF BIRTH August 16, 1934
PLACE OF BIRTH London, England