nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

In memoriam: Diana Wynne Jones

She was an excellent SF writer, with a notable mix of the intensely strange and possibly the best depictions of abusive vs. nurturing relationships in SF.

My favorites of what she'd written include Archer's Goon (probably the oddest premise I've ever seen, notable also for depictions of deadline pressure and sensitivity to loud noises), Fire and Hemlock, Cart and Cwidder (has a lot about organizing a traveling musicians troupe), and Howl's Moving Castle (holds a complex plot together, is emotionally satisfying and unless I missed something, doesn't have the creepy mercy for the Witch of Waste that the movie did).

I'm putting in a good word for her The Game which is a concentrated version of everything I like about her work. The bit about the evil guardians (?) spending hours and hours trying to comb the main character's hair into good order when the main character is really a [spoiler redacted] is some of the best shorthand I've seen for a certain kind of abuse.

She said she preferred writing YA fiction because young people were more receptive to truth than adults.

I only talked with her once-- she told me about the tendency of what she wrote to turn out to be true. (Actually, I don't want to think about that too much... the premise of either A Sudden Wild Magic or Deep Secret is a bit unnerving that way.) She mentioned that she based the main character "Who Got Rid of Angus Flint?" (a horrible fellow who responded to all criticism by standing on his head, which somehow made it impossible to continue the criticism) on a real person. In the interests of plausible deniability, she dressed the character in a cardigan of a sort the real person would never wear, and then she saw him wearing exactly that cardigan.

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