Diana Wynne Jones
Born: August 16th, 1934
Born: August 16th, 1934
Passed away: March 25, 2011, aged 76
I am crying (really). This is a sad day. British author Diana Wynne Jones passed away last night after struggling with cancer for about two years. I was dreading this day. I have often thought on how sad it would be to loose an author whose books you love and from whom you anticipate their next release. Diana Wynne Jones has been this for me for many years (so is the anime director Hayao Miyazaki who also happened to animate Mrs. Jones' Howl's Moving Castle). She was (I want to still say IS!!!) an incredible writer, full of humor, wit, magic, and an uncommon richness and depth. She was brilliant and you could feel it in her writing. She could write light humor based on Greek or Norse gods, retell dark tales from folk and fairy, blend science fiction and sorcery perfectly. The most recent story I read of hers was from a collection of short stories. The main character was a cat that whizzed around on an ensorceled chicken coup! That is one of the most hilarious images that will ever be stuck in my head. I love it (it is called Little Dot)
The first book of hers that I ever read was Eight Days of Luke. It is a modern story based on Norse mythology (when Percy Jackson came out I thought, the idea of gods living in modern day has already been done). After that I cannot remember the order of her books which I read, I devoured them so quickly. Dogsbody is a work of hers that is very unique. The premise is the rebirth of Sirius the Dog Star, a celestial body, into the body of a newborn puppy here on Earth. He had been wrongly accused of a crime in the heavens, banished, then eventually solved the mystery as he grew as a dog. I am doing it no justice here. It's an amazing book. She also wrote a modern retelling of the old Scottish tale Tam-Lin called Fire and Hemlock, a time traveling story in The Tale of Time City, an incredibly funny, magical, at times romantic series entitled The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, and we can't forget the wizard's series beginning with Howl's Moving Castle. There are so many other books that I cannot write them all here. Please find them in the library or just buy them outright -or at least look them up!
"If you take myth and folklore, and these things that speak in symbols, they can be interpreted in so many ways that although the actual image is clear enough, the interpretation is infinitely blurred, a sort of enormous rainbow of every possible colour you could imagine."
"I think we ought to live happily ever after."
-Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle
This is the post from LDS author Jessica Day George from which I learned of Mrs. Jones' passing
This is a beautiful post by author Neil Gaiman who was a close friend to Mrs. Jones
Here is a news article
This is the official Diana Wynne Jones website
I'd like to point out these three essays on the website written by her. I think they are significant:
This is a Diana Wynne Jones wiki
And here is Amazon.com's Diana Wynne Jones page with available books. Sadly many are out of print, but you can still find them. Perhaps now all of her books will come back, or there will be special compilations, etc.