I was going to write how much I love Diana Wynne Jones.
How I discovered her quite late, and regret it. Had I been British, I’d probably have read her since my childhood. What a joy and glory it would have been !
How I love her characters, strong, clever and funny, both male and female ones — which is rarer than you’d think.
How she was herself strong, clever and funny, for example when she’s explaining to children how to write (“Most teachers will tell you that you need to make a careful plan of your story before you start. This is because most teachers do not write stories.” I’m a teacher myself, you see, so I’m allowed to laugh.)
How she was comforting for all of us fantasy geeks when answering “the question [she] always gets asked most irritably: Why did you choose to write Fantasy? Why magic?“.
And I was struggling trying to pick my favorite book by her, which is, of course, impossible, because of her ” multiple glories.”
But such is the magic of the Web, sometimes.
I found a tweet by Neil Gaiman, who is a great admirer and friend of Diana Wynne Jones.
Not the one he wrote when he heard the news, and everyone’s retweeting now. (“Rest in Peace, Diana Wynne Jones. You shone like a star. The funniest, wisest writer & the finest friend. I miss you.”)
This one sounds right, of course. All the superlatives are deserved and, oh, yes, we miss her.
Nor the extensive post on his journal.
But I found an older one. 8 May 2009. “Diana Wynne Jones is the best. The very best. Honest. Finally an article that says so too.” (He’s referring to the Guardian article I linked to above).
Of course, he says “is.” Not “was.” That’s perhaps even better.
And for one I feel the magic of Twitter.
Short as a haiku. You don’t need more. The best. The very best. Honest.
Ephemeral as a tweet, as life, yet strangely permanent. Still there, ready to be found, two years later, when you really need it. As good stories are. And she wrote the best ones.
3 thoughts on “Diana Wynne Jones: The Very Best”
The time-warping wonderfulness of that old tweet resurfacing feels particularly appropriate. I always suspected DWJ of having secret alternate-universe-hopping abilities. If she can mess with the nature of time, too, I am not surprised.
It’s the odd little details that make her books so special, and it’s the odd little details in everyone’s tributes I’ve read that really… make me want to bawl, but I mean, it’s those details that just feel SO PERFECTLY RIGHT.
“time-warping wonderfulness”… that perfectly describe my feelings about that tweet. Thank you (again), Amy.
Yes, she’s the best. I just ran across this letter from Jones’ editor. The good new is, one more book is on its way.:
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