The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy

The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy

by Leonard S. Marcus
     
 

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"Each lively and highly readable interview ends with advice to would-be writers. . . .An essential volume for fantasy readers of all ages." — BOOKLIST (starred review)

"Fantasy," writes Leonard S. Marcus, "is storytelling with the beguiling power to transform the impossible into the imaginable, and to reveal our own

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Overview

"Each lively and highly readable interview ends with advice to would-be writers. . . .An essential volume for fantasy readers of all ages." — BOOKLIST (starred review)

"Fantasy," writes Leonard S. Marcus, "is storytelling with the beguiling power to transform the impossible into the imaginable, and to reveal our own ‘real’ world in a fresh and truth-bearing light." Few have harnessed this power with the artistry, verve, and imagination of the authors encountered in this compelling book. How do they work their magic? Leonard S. Marcus’s incisive interviews range over questions of literary craft and moral vision as he asks thirteen noted fantasy authors about their pivotal life experiences, their literary influences and work routines, and their beliefs about the place of fantasy in literature and in our lives.

Includes interviews with:
— Lloyd Alexander
— Franny Billingsley
— Susan Cooper
— Nancy Farmer
— Brian Jacques
— Diana Wynne Jones
— Ursula K. Le Guin
— Madeleine L’Engle
— Garth Nix
— Tamora Pierce
— Terry Pratchett
— Philip Pullman
— Jane Yolen

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763645564
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

LEONARD S. MARCUS: How did you choose the daemons for the characters of His Dark Materials?

PHILIP PULLMAN: Some I didn’t have to choose. It was obvious what they should be. I knew that Mrs. Coulter’s daemon was going to be a golden monkey. Monkeys for me have a kind of sinister quality to them.
There’s a wonderful ghost story by the Victorian writer Sheridan Le Fanu called 'Green Tea.' An apparition of an evil little monkey appears in that story, and it made a huge impression on me when I first read it as a child.
Maybe the memory of that story was haunting me, and that’s why it was so clear what Mrs. Coulter’s daemon would be.

Q: Why does Lyra’s daemon become a marten?

A: There is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci showing a young woman holding her pet, a ferret in its white winter coat - an ermine. I’ve always liked that picture. I make a habit of looking out for pictures of people, as it were, with their daemons. . . .

Q: You must have thought about what your own daemon would be.

A: Not very much, actually. I suppose I think of her as a bird, probably one of those dull, drab-looking birds, like a jackdaw, which makes a habit of stealing bright things. She hangs around inconspicuously listening for little bright snippets of conversation or an anecdote and then picks them up when nobody’s looking and brings them back to me, and we make a story out of them.

_______

THE WAND IN THE WORD compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus. Copyright © 2006 by Leonard S. Marcus. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Meet the Author

LEONARD S. MARCUS is one of the world’s most respected writers about children’s literature. His essays, interviews, and reviews appear in the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, a regular column for PARENTING magazine, and numerous other publications. His books include A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION, AUTHOR TALK, STORIED CITY, DEAR GENIUS: THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM, and other titles for both adults and young readers. He says of THE WAND IN THE WORD, "Anyone can wave a wand. The real magic of each of these remarkable storytellers lies in the telling."

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