Admist all the basketball excitement, I read that Diana Wynne Jones passed away yesterday after her prolonged battle with cancer. She has long been one of my favorite authors, with her wit, intelligence, faith in her younger readership, wry pragmatism, and brilliant writing.
I remember reading DWJ in school, on my back porch, on airplanes. I read to myself, laughed myself to tears; I read to my sisters, joked about butter pies and Fantasyland’s lack of socks. I struggled to make sense of Hexwood and Fire and Hemlock; I devoured Howl’s Moving Castle, Dark Lord of Derkholm, and all the Chrestomanci books. Who could forget the antics of Deep Secret or Year of the Griffin? Her situational humor, her sparkling adjectives, her inventive and deconstructive clichés…
Her accolades and awards include two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors, the Karl Edward Wagner Award for having a significant impact on the field of fantasy literature, and the World Fantasy Society Lifetime Achievement Award.
It is an odd thing to be moved to tears while the rest of the state explodes in basketball-related joy. Outside my window, horns and chants and laughter. Inside, only a desperate grief, a heavy emptiness for that great lady of literature.