Reflections: On the Magic of Writing

Overview

This collection of more than twenty-five critical essays, speeches, and biographical pieces chosen by Diana Wynne Jones before her death in 2011 is essential reading for the author's many fans and for students and teachers of the fantasy genre and creative writing in general. The volume includes insightful literary criticism alongside autobiographical anecdotes, revelations about the origins of the author's books, and reflections about the life of an author and the value of ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$18.60
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$24.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (33) from $3.77   
  • New (15) from $3.87   
  • Used (18) from $3.77   
Reflections: On the Magic of Writing

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

This collection of more than twenty-five critical essays, speeches, and biographical pieces chosen by Diana Wynne Jones before her death in 2011 is essential reading for the author's many fans and for students and teachers of the fantasy genre and creative writing in general. The volume includes insightful literary criticism alongside autobiographical anecdotes, revelations about the origins of the author's books, and reflections about the life of an author and the value of writing for young people.

Reflections features the author's final interview, a foreword by award-winning author Neil Gaiman, and an introduction by Charlie Butler, a senior lecturer in English at the University of West England in Bristol.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Stacey Hayman
After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, Diana Wynne Jones decided it was time to sort and organize the manuscripts, lectures, articles, and reviews saved from over forty years of writing. With the help of her longtime editor, the author selected papers for donation to the Seven Stories archives and pieces on a variety of topics, from personal to professional, to share in this collection. In total, there are thirty-four selections, including items offered by two of her three children, forewords by Neil Gaiman and Charlie Butler, and a preface by the author herself. Each piece has an introduction that nicely sets the time, place, and reason why it was written. Within each chapter there are end-note citations that most would expect to find at the end of the written piece but are, somewhat confusingly, at the end of the book. Personal photographs enhancing the “Something About the Author” essay; a Q&A conversation held near the end of Jones’s life; and “Two Kinds of Writing?” which is an example of the author’s thoughts about why she approached writing for children so differently than her adult audience are examples of what makes this collection more than just a final gift from the author to her legion of fans. Readers who desire a stronger understanding of history, language, and the influence of personal experience on the narrative will discover plenty to mull over, and writers, particularly those who want to write fantasy novels or novels for children, will be inspired to consider--and reconsider--how they can put their pen to paper most effectively. Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Just as a story should deliver a happy ending of wrongs being righted for its reader, this reader applauds Dianne Wynn Jones for stepping forward in response to a writer's ultimate responsibility to its audience. She is an avid reader and delivers a wonderful orchestration of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," even though he may leave a lot to be desired as a lecturer. She chastises writers who are irresponsible when using imagination. There should be no "what if" cut off, the joy should be boundary-less. We hear of school visit horror stories, a look back at her childhood, and how truth finds its way from her storybooks into her real life. Think tall, thin house, worms in custard.... Writing is a complex endeavor and each essay, letter, or speech stands tall for what Jones believed in. Why fantasy? Fantasy was not allowed in her home as she grew up, in fact, warmth, food and love were not allowed either. Her parents forbade the "sentimental nonsense" of fantasy. She championed the belief of "moving goalposts and changing rules" in her writing. She held steadfast to the responsibility of writing a book that may be a readers "one" that sticks in their memory banks. She begs agoraphobic writers to get outside of their self-imposed boxes. The beginning of the book has a bit of a textbook feel. No characters or situations that one can grab onto to build a through story. Then you realize that Jones is as interesting of a character as any mystical fairy or talking cabinet could ever be. As a reader you will find yourself reading every chapter as if you have just sat down with your favorite aunt as she reminiscences. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
School Library Journal
Putting her papers together in the face of her impending death, Jones chose and arranged these lectures, articles, and reviews written between 1978 and 2008 to encapsulate her beliefs about writing, writing for children, and fantasy. Ranging from literary criticism to autobiography, the 28 pieces illustrate her insight, her humor, and the mastery of her craft. She describes how magic and humor work, discusses the nature of heroes, the uses of mythology, and the value of learning Anglo-Saxon. Other selections reflect on the magic of the "Narnia" books, the nature of "Real Books," and the orchestration of a narrative. Because this volume is a gathering of pieces written over many years, topics and episodes are repeated, like recurring melodies in a long piece of music. One of the most important themes is that humans-children and adults-need fantasy. In some ways, her entire oeuvre is a reaction to a childhood in which fantasy literature was denied, as revealed in the long essay she wrote for Something About the Author and included here. An interview with the book's editor, Charlie Butler, and reminiscences by two of her sons wrap up the collection. Readers who have known and loved the author's vast body of work will nod and laugh, rejoice that they can return to works like the "Chrestomanci" series, and mourn the fact that there will be no more.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062219893
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 453,034
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards—and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter—her books were filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)