Diana Wynne Jones
AUTHOR

Diana Wynne Jones

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones 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. From the very beginning, Diana Wynne Jones's books garnered literary accolades: her novel Dogsbody was a runner-up for the 1975 Carnegie Medal, and Charmed Life won the esteemed Guardian children's fiction prize in 1977. Since then, in addition to being translated into more than twenty languages, her books have earned a wide array of honors--including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors--and appeared on countless best-of-the-year lists. Her work also found commercial success: in 1992 the BBC adapted her novel Archer's Goon into a six-part miniseries, and her best-selling Howl's Moving Castle was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki in 2004. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006, and became one of the most financially successful Japanese films in history. The author herself has also been honored with many prestigious awards for the body of her work. She was given the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999 for having made a significant impact on fantasy, received a D.Lit from Bristol University in 2006, and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in 2007.

Born just outside London in 1934, Diana Wynne Jones had a childhood that was "very vivid and often very distressing"--one that became the fertile ground where her tremendous imagination took root. When the raids of World War II reached London in 1939, the five-year-old girl and her two younger sisters were torn from their suburban life and sent to Wales to live with their grandparents. This was to be the first of many migrations, one of which brought her family to Lane Head, a large manor in the author-populated Lake District and former residence of John Ruskin's secretary, W.G. Collingwood. This time marked an important moment in Diana Wynne Jones's life, where her writing ambitions were magnified by, in her own words, "early marginal contacts with the Great." She confesses to having "offending Arthur Ransome by making a noise on the shore beside his houseboat," erasing a stack of drawings by the late Ruskin himself in order to reuse the paper, and causing Beatrix Potter (who also lived nearby) to complain about her and her sister's behavior. "It struck me," Jones said, "that the Great were remarkably touchy and unpleasant, and I thought I would like to be the same, without the unpleasantness." Prompted by her penny-pinching father's refusal to buy the children any books, Diana Wynne Jones wrote her first novel at age twelve and entertained her sisters with readings of her stories. Those early stories--and much of her future work--were inspired by a limited but crucial foundation of classics: Malory's Morte D'Arthur, The Arabian Nights, and Epics and Romances of the Middle Ages. Fantasy was Jones's passion from the start, despite receiving little support from her often neglectful parents. This passion was fueled further during her tenure at St. Anne's College in Oxford, where lectures by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis increased her fascination with myth and legend. She married Medievalist John Burrow in 1956; the couple have three sons and six grandchildren.

After a decade of rejections, Diana Wynne Jones's first novel, Changeover, was published in 1970. In 1973, she joined forces with her lifelong literary agent, Laura Cecil, and in the four decades to follow, Diana Wynne Jones wrote prodigiously, sometimes completing three titles in a single year. Along the way she gained a fiercely loyal following; many of her admirers became successful authors themselves, including Newbery Award winners Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman, and Newbery Honor Book author Megan Whalen Turner. A conference dedicated solely to her work was held at the University of West England, Bristol, in 2009. Diana Wynne Jones continued to write during her battle with lung cancer, which ultimately took her life in March 2011. Her last book, Earwig and the Witch, will be published by Greenwillow Books in 2012.

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Best Sellers

    • Howl's Moving Castle

    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
    • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5,162
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4,591
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4,615

    On a rare venture out from her step-mother's hat shop, Sophie attracts the attention of a witch, who casts a terrible spell transforming the young girl into an old crone....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very Entertaining

    • By Christopher on 07-02-12

    Regular price: $31.47

    • Castle in the Air

    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
    • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 850
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 739
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 744

    In this sparkling tale, young merchant Abdullah purchases a magic carpet - and soon finds that the enchanted rug is none too agreeable....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • What Eddie thinks about this book (Eddie is 11)

    • By Ann on 07-24-11

    Regular price: $24.49

    • Dark Lord of Derkholm

    • Derkholm Series, Book 1
    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
    • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 22
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 20
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 20

    Mr. Chesney operates Pilgrim Parties, a tour group that takes paying participants into an outer realm where the inhabitants play frightening and foreboding roles. The time has come to end the staged madness...but can it really be stopped? Find out....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Diana Wynn’s Jones is the master storyteller

    • By Susan Sherman on 10-04-18

    Regular price: $20.99

    • House of Many Ways

    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
    • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 898
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 767
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 773

    A girl named Charmain must inhabit her ailing great-uncle's time-traveling home full of magical belongings....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great Companion Book

    • By Kelly on 03-17-11

    Regular price: $24.49

    • Stories

    • All-New Tales
    • By: Neil Gaiman (author and editor), Al Sarrantonio (editor), Joe Hill, and others
    • Narrated by: Anne Bobby, Jonathan Davis, Katherine Kellgren, and others
    • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 604
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 445
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 447

    The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more—to find the answer to the question....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Something for Everyone

    • By Nicole on 05-24-17

    Regular price: $42.20

    • The Magicians of Caprona

    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
    • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 218
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 144
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 145

    For years, the Montana family has feuded with the Petrocchi family....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • An excellent, magical book

    • By Goldeen on 04-05-12

    Regular price: $37.95

    • A Charmed Life

    • The Worlds of Chrestomanci, Book 1
    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
    • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 450
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 284
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 292

    Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Delightful Read!

    • By Amazon Customer on 09-27-05

    Regular price: $23.95

    • The Lives of Christopher Chant

    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
    • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 327
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 236
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 237

    Christopher Chant has no real power....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Fascinating!

    • By G. Rokosz on 10-07-06

    Regular price: $26.95

    • Conrad's Fate

    • The Worlds of Chrestomanci
    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
    • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 259
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 162
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 163

    Twelve-year-old Conrad Tesdinic is in disguise as a servant-in-training at Stallery Mansion in the town of Stallchester. He wants to figure out what evil he caused in a past life....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • loved it

    • By cindy harp-horn on 05-15-08

    Regular price: $23.95

    • The Pinhoe Egg

    • By: Diana Wynne Jones
    • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
    • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 226
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 157
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 157

    The Pinhoes don't want the Chrestomanci to find out that they've been misusing their magic, but when Cat finds a mysterious old egg at Gammer's place, the Chrestomanci is sure to notice....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Diana Wynne Jones' Pinhoe Egg

    • By John on 05-31-10

    Regular price: $32.95

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