Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Diana Wynne Jones died on March 26. She was a fantasy author, mostly of children's books and YA. I rarely reread books, but I read her Deep Secrets multiple times. You've probably heard of her Howl's Moving Castle, a 1986 novel that was made into a movie by The Studio Ghibli.

Jones was the sort of author who was quietly subversive, blending zany new elements of fantasy with more traditional fantasy without giving into certain negative cultural norms. For instance, it was not unusual for her to have heroines that could fully hold their own. There were no off-to-the-side Hermiones nor modern-damsels-in-distress like Bella of Twilight. Another example is that her books neither danced around nor romanticized sex.

Give her obituary a read; it's full of interesting tidbits, like the time Beatrix Potter slapped Jones. And do read her books.

Well, there goes my dream of meeting her.

1 comment:

  1. She sounded like an amazing woman. I didn't realize she was getting up there in years.