This week, all of us at Figment were saddened to hear that Diana Wynne Jones passed away. Before J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman were on the scene, Diana Wynne Jones prolifically turned out fantasy novels for adolescent and adult readers. The author of the Chrestomanci series as well as other novels ranging from Howl’s Moving Castle to Power of Three, Wynne Jones was tremendously influential for authors and readers alike.
Even now, during attempts to mentally compile lists of my all-time favorite YA authors – no easy task, I assure you – Diana Wynne Jones is always one of the first names to come to mind. As a young reader, I was deeply touched by any and all compelling works of fantasy that I came across, and hers were among the best: powerful, original, and salient examples of the genre. Reading her Chrestomanci series affected me so profoundly that I often drift back to particular passages in the books when my mind is idly wandering, even more than a decade after first reading them. Howl’s Moving Castle, of course, was another instant classic, and captivated me no less (and as good as the movie is, it still doesn’t compare to the original). My childhood desire to work with magic as if I, too, were a magician of Caprona, has diminished little into adulthood, and for that I can thank Diana Wynne Jones and fondly remember the passion that she inspired in me. She will be much missed.