What's this list for?

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Mon Apr 2 13:09:26 EDT 2001





> One of the things that struck me when I went to the page and read the Q & A
> with DWJ was how many people only discovered her with Charmed Life.
>
> Now, I know that Charmed Life was quite some time ago, but she had been
> getting books published for at least a decade previously. Was there some sort
> of "critical mass" built up by then before the publishers started giving her
> an extra "push" or was there something else going on? I do recall that
> Charmed Life was about the first of her books that I actually saw in
> bookstores in hardback. (Was it her first that was by Greenwillow? Was a
> change of imprint the deciding factor?)

Goodness knows about Greenwillow.  They did a lot of US editions, but I think
MacMillan got most of her early works over here.  In fact, I think I've never
seen Greenwillow in the UK (aren't they owned by the same lot that owns Collins
over here?)...

Charmed Life got the BBC's "Jackanory" treatment - read out on telly by a
celebrity.  This could have been a major influence.  My mother assures me that
Cart and Cwidder was also Jackanoried, but I don't remember that at all.

Incidentally, are you sure about "at least a decade"?  If my memory serves me
correctly, her first book was Changeover, in 1970, and her first children's
book, "Wilkins' Tooth" in 1971; Charmed life was around 1977, I think.

<rant>

I find it very confusing when people on this list refer to "Changeover" with no
qualifiers, to mean "The Changeover" (Mahy) rather than "Changeover" (DWJ).  One
day I'll find a copy of the Mahy, whereupon I'll read it....

Oh, and while I'm ranting, I've been wincing every time I've seen someone's
having typed "Wilkin's Tooth" for "Wilkins' Tooth" :-)

</rant>

> I was also interested in her explanation of what she was exploring when she
> wrote Homeward Bounders. (Possibly the most unhappy of her stories, although
> the setting is not anywhere so ugly as Time of the Ghost.) It turns out that
> her direction seems to have been on the double-edged nature of hope. Yes that
> is certainly the point all right, but at the time, there were cultural
> connections which gave it an additional spin, and tended to cast a long
> shadow of their own. Or at least on this side of the pond, anyway.
>
> Anybody else remember that particular time? Dungeons & Dragons and general
> role-playing wargames had just surfaced big from wherever suchlike cultural
> phenomena incubate and were all over the news. And as might be predicted, the
> same crowd which is now trying to get Harry Potter exorcised from the school
> library was carrying on, absolutely bound and determined to have D&D
> classified as demonic possession. It seemed somehow wonderfully appropriate
> that right at that particular moment DWJ should drop into the middle of all
> this a book about demon wargamners.

Bother.  I replied to that bit in an earlier post.  Careless of me!

Philip.







**********************************************************************
This message and any attachments are confidential and should only be
read by those to whom they are addressed.  If you are not the intended
recipient, please contact us, delete the message from your computer
and destroy any copies.  Any distribution or copying without our prior
permission is prohibited.

Internet communications are not always secure and therefore the
Powergen Group does not accept legal responsibility for this message.
The recipient is responsible for verifying its authenticity before
acting on the contents.  Any views or opinions presented are solely
those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the 
Powergen Group.

Power Technology:
Telephone	+44 (0) 115 936 2000
Fax		+44 (0) 115 936 2711
E-mail          techinfo at powertech.co.uk
www		http://www.powertech.co.uk

Powergen UK plc Registered Office: 53 New Broad Street London EC2M 1SL
Registered in England and Wales No: 2366970
**********************************************************************
--
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/



More information about the Dwj mailing list