Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Remembering Diana Wynne Jones

I never knew DWJ personally, but I remember hours of my childhood going around bookstores trying to figure out if they'd shelved her under "W" or "J' (especially in small, independent bookstores or at airports and railways stations, this was a confusing question). I first started reading Diane Duane mostly because I was enamoured of the idea of another children's book author who was called Diane. I think I thought they must be connected writing-wise.

When I moved to the States, when I was about 13, most of my DWJ books got lost in the transition, and I spent a year or two rereading The Magicians of Caprona over and over and over again because it was the only one I had. One afternoon I sat in the bookstore on 86th Street in Manhattan and read Deep Secret in a few hours.

I've been slowly rebuilding my Wynne-Jones (shelved on it's own shelf, so as to avoid any alphabetising confusion in my home) collection and only recently did a friend give me Castle In The Air as a holiday gift reminding me that there are whole DWJ books I haven't read.

So I'm going to try to re-read - and indeed read for the first time in some cases - all of Diana Wynne Jones' books and mark down my comments and thoughts. Her books changed, shaped and ameliorated my life - first as a child and now again as I grow up - so hugely, that I'm excited to explore the emotional impact they have on me now. Plus, I'm hoping that wrapping myself up in her words, like a blanket, will in some way, help ease my grief over the passing of one of my favourite authors.

So here is the beginning of my reading list. I'm starting with the Chrestomanci books, but in the order she recommended they be read (which is in fact different from the order I read them as a child) and then adding on ones that have been published since after I first read them. Starred are the ones that I haven't read/didn't read originally back in the early '90s.
 Next post to come with thoughts on Charmed Life!

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