maanantai 21. maaliskuuta 2016

Classical Children's Fantasy Books by Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones was the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed fantasy stories, including the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.

She was one of my favorite authors in my childhood and I cannot honestly tell how many times I have read the first book of Chrestomanci series, A Charmed Life, or my other favorite, The Fire and Hemlock.

Jones started writing during the mid-1960s "mostly to keep my sanity", when the youngest of her three children was about two years old and the family lived in a house owned by an Oxford college. Beside the children, she felt harried by the crises of adults in the household: a sick husband, a mother-in-law, a sister, and a friend with daughter.

Jones' books range from amusing slapstick situations to sharp social observation (Changeover is both), to witty parody of literary forms. Foremost amongst the latter are The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, and its fictional companion-pieces Dark Lord of Derkholm (1998) and Year of the Griffin (2000), which provide a merciless (though not unaffectionate) critique of formulaic sword-and-sorcery epics.

For Charmed Life, the first Chrestomanci novel, Jones won the 1978 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime award by The Guardian newspaper that is judged by a panel of children's writers.

Three times she was a commended runner-up for the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognizing the year's best children's book: for Dogsbody (1975), Charmed Life (1977), and the fourth Chrestomanci book The Lives of Christopher Chant (1988). 

She won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, children's section, in 1996 for The Crown of Dalemark (concluding that series) and in 1999 for Dark Lord of Derkholm; in four other years she was a finalist for that annual literary award by the Mythopoeic Society.

The 1986 novel Howl's Moving Castle was inspired by a boy at a school she was visiting, who asked her to write a book called The Moving Castle. It was published first by Greenwillow in the U.S., where it was a runner-up for the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book Award in children's fiction.

In 2004, Hayao Miyazaki made the Japanese-language animated movie Howl's Moving Castle, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. A version dubbed in English was released in the UK and US in 2005, with the voice of Howl performed by Christian Bale. 

Next year Jones and the novel won the annual Phoenix Award from the Children's Literature Association, recognizing the best children's book published twenty years earlier that did not win a major award (named for mythical bird phoenix to suggest the book's rise from obscurity).

Fire and Hemlock had been the 2005 Phoenix runner-up. It is a novel based on Scottish ballads, and was a Mythopoeic Fantasy finalist in its own time.

The British Fantasy Society recognized her significant impact on fantasy with its occasional Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999. She received an honorary D.Litt from the University of Bristol in July 200 and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2007.

Fire and Hemlock

Polly has two sets of memories...

One is normal: school, home, friends. The other, stranger memories begin nine years ago, when she was ten and gate-crashed an odd funeral in the mansion near her grandmother's house. Polly's just beginning to recall the sometimes marvelous, sometimes frightening adventures she embarked on with Tom Lynn after that. And then she did something terrible, and everything changed.

But what did she do? Why can't she remember? Polly mustuncover the secret, or her true love — and perhaps Polly herself — will be lost.

Charmed Life (Chrestomanci #1)

Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Frustrated that the witches of the castle refuse to acknowledge her talents, Gwendolen conjures up a scheme that could throw whole worlds out of whack.

3 kommenttia:

  1. I love Diana Wynne Jones as well! I hadn't realized that Hayao Miyazaki did a film version of Howl's Moving Castle -- I'm definitely going to have to check that out. Thanks for sharing with the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup!

  2. I feel totally out of the loop as I've never heard of this author or these books! Thanks for introducing us! Thanks for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week on! Always great to have you!

  3. Thanks for introducing me to an author I wasn't familiar with and for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.