Diana Wynne Jones is best-known for her novels and stories - of magical fantasy - written mainly for children. She received a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, as well as two Mythopoeic Awards and the Guardian Fiction Award for Charmed Life. But she was also a witty, entertaining speaker, a popular guest at science fiction and fantasy conventions and an engaged, scholarly critic of writing that interested her.
This collection of more than twenty-five papers, chosen by Diana herself, includes fascinating literary criticism (such as a study of narrative structure in The Lord of the Rings and a ringing endorsement of the value of learning Anglo Saxon) alongside autobiographical anecdotes about reading tours (including an account of her famous travel jinx), revelations about the origins of her books, and thoughts in general about the life of an author and the value of writing. The longest autobiographical piece, 'Something About the Author', details Diana's extraordinary childhood and is illustrated with family photographs. Reflections is essential reading for anyone interested in Diana's works, fantasy or creative writing.
The collection features a foreword by Neil Gaiman and an introduction and interview by Charlie Butler, a respected expert on fantasy writing.
Sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely, the reader comes to know Diana Wynne Jones through this book in ways which few conventional autobiographies allow ... Reflections is certainly a compelling read for anyone interested in writing, in how an author sees children as readers, in fantasy, and in the shifting fashions of the children’s lit scene from the seventies to the present day. And, of course, it is essential reading for all those, many of them adult, devoted to Wynne Jones’ work.
For Jones, fantasy is a medium where magic stands as a metaphor for thoughts, offering readers a forum where they can both recognise and validate their most powerful daydreams ... This present book [is] an admirable commentary on all [the] work from a writer of rare distinction.
Often humorous, always fascinating, Diana Wynne Jones describes the influence of her own (astounding) childhood on her novels...Certainly of use to anyone interested in the importance of children's literature, and also an absorbing insight into the developing thoughts of a great author.