RIP YA author Diana Wynne Jones

Apparently YA fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones died yesterday at 77 after a year long battle with cancer.
I had read she was diagnosed and decided to stop treatment a few months ago so I knew it was only a matter of time but I was still saddened when I read about it this morning.

I wish she was an author I had grown up reading but I only happened to pick up a book of hers when I was 18 or so, I think because Neil Gaiman was a friend of hers. I love how fresh and often amusing her writing was especially in a genre like YA fantasy. My favorites were the Lives of Christopher Chant and Howl’s Moving Castle, as well as Dogsbody and Deep Secret. I’ve read several of her other books and I have to admit some of them I don’t get but she still had some interesting ideas. Her books are perfect comfort reading for me, sometimes I find myself grabbing one because I have a few minutes to kill and I end up rereading the whole thing!

Oh, man. I first read Jones as an adult, and ever since that first book, I’ve sought out more of her stories. I read her books to my daughter, and she helped my daughter realize that reading can be fun, not just a chore.

The Tough Guide to Fantasy was hilarious.

May she have 8 more, wonderful lives, on the Almost Anywheres of series 12.

I only found her books recently - there’s a reviewer blurb on my hardcover copy of “So you want to be a Wizard” that compares Diane Duane to a cross between Madeleine L’engle and Diana Wynne Jones, so I tried “A charmed life” from and loved it.

I’ve run out of the Chrestomanci books, though I know that she wrote many other wonderful fantasy novels that I haven’t gotten to yet. Always sort of hoped that she’d write another book featuring the character of Eric Chant - oh well.

I just picked up paperback copies of “A charmed life” and “Witch Week” last month, at the World’s biggest bookstore.
Okay - I guess that it’s time to go back to editing my own fantasy manuscript. We authors don’t have forever to make our legacy in this world, it seems.

Sorry. She was one of the best imaginative children’s authors of the present period.

Get The Tough Guide to Fantasy, and make sure that you don’t use the tropes therein.

:frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

She was amazing.

Oh, man, I loved her books when I was a kid. Picked up Christopher Chant a few years ago and it was as good as I remembered. I read them all from the library years and years ago, and they were really something out of the ordinary for children’s book - I remember being thrown for a loop by Fire and Hemlock.

Did you read her recent Chrestomanci book, the Pinhoe Egg? Eric Chant makes his first reappearance in it, it’s quite delightful.

Oh, :frowning: I knew this was coming. DWJ is my all-time favorite. I was lucky enough to find her young.


Very sad to hear this. I’ve loved her books for the last thirty years. I met her too and she was a fabulous woman, very generous with her tiem to her fans.

I’m quite sad about this. I first found her books as a teenager in the mid-1980s and she has remained one of my favourite authors.

She has been a favorite of mine for 20 years or more: Howl’s Moving Castle is probably my favorite-the writing itself is just a joy to read, never mind the charming story and characters–and of course I love the Chrestomanci books, but I want to give a shout out to The Homeward Bounders–I mean, a story for young adults that blends role-playing games, Greek mythology, and Platonism and ends tragically? I love love love that book. I read it for the first time when I was probably 10, and again every year or so after that, and it made me smarter.

I also loved Fire and Hemlock.

Yes, I loved the Pinhoe egg - in fact, I read the Chrestomanci books rather out of order, though they mostly made sense:

A Charmed Life
The Pinhoe Egg
The Lives of Christopher Chant
Conrad’s Fate
The Magicians of Caprona
Witch Week

So I started with the Eric Chant pair, then the two with Christopher Chant while he was still young, before he became Chrestomanci, (and Gabriel DeWitt, and Millie,) and finally the two stories where Chrestomanci is more a more peripheral and mysterious character.

That’s quite sad.

By coincidence I’m reading one of her books right now, The Crown of Dalemark. The first book of hers I read, twenty years ago, was one from the Dalemark series.


I only discovered her as an adult, but I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of her books.

The Tough Guide is the only book of hers I’ve read, but I love it.

I was not aware she was battling cancer. Tough, I enjoyed Charmed Life when I was a kid.

Now read The Dark Lord of Derkholm to see the Guide applied to a real novel.

The Tough Guide is great, but it’s a commentary rather than a story.

I’m very sad to hear this. Her books are charming.

She made flying pigs believable. I’m so bummed there will be no more stories about Derk and his gryphon children.