Introducing me

Judith Ridge Judith.Ridge at
Wed Dec 8 01:30:25 EST 2004

Name: Judith Ann Ridge (also Judy, Jude, Lady Jude [don't ask], Ju Ju [Seven
Little Australians] and You With The Can Opener Give Me Some Tuna).

Living in: Inner west Sydney (born where Jon lives but only lived there 12

Age: 40 

What I do when not playing here: I am on the editorial staff of the NSW
School Magazine, a literary magazine for children published by the New South
Wales Department of Education and Training since 1916. I also teach
part-time at both Sydney Uni and Macquarie, depending which semester it is;
writing for children at the former, undergrad children's lit at the latter.
And I freelance; various writing and editing jobs to do with children's lit.
And I am writing my MA thesis which I plan to roll over into a PhD

Married/partnered/?: No

Offspring (human variety): None, but plenty of nieces and nephews and
assorted friend's children to play with.

Offspring (non-human): She of the tuna-demands, fifteen year old Bridie,
grey tabby/torty/burmese cross (ie common or garden mog).

First DWJ/when: _Eight Days of Luke_, late 80s when first undertaking
post-grad children's lit studies. Left me a bit cold the first time, enjoyed
it more subsequently.

Favourite DWJ: _The Magicians of Caprona_ because it was the book that
single-handedly made me decide to make children's books my profession one
way or another (and there have been LOTS of ways). After that _Charmed Life_
because you can read it a million times and still get something new out of

Least favourite DWJ: Can take or leave the Dalemark books, although I do
like _Cart and Cwidder_.

Other favourite authors/books: I'm not a big fantasy fiend as many of you
are, which is not to say that I don't read and enjoy a lot of children's
fantasy. I don't seem to get along with adult fantasy (sounds rude!); I
think I was turned off at an early age by all those leather-bra-ed amazons
on the covers of those big fat fantasy epics. I have actually got a couple
of Lois Bujold Thingy's books on someone's recommendation on a different
list, but I haven't read them yet, and I am looking forward to reading
_Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell_ on my week off in January.  But that's not
answering the question... I mostly read children's books. It's both
necessary for my work and affords me a lot of pleasure. Long-standing
favourites are _Seven Little Australians_, the _Narnia chronicles_,
_Harriet the Spy_ and its two companion novels, Alison Uttley's _A Traveller
in Time_ (re-read just this past week or so), anything by Ruth
Manning-Sanders. Discovered as an adult and wished I'd read as a child: DWJ,
Margaret Mahy, _I Capture the Castle_. Adult authors/books: Tim Winton, Ruth
Rendell/Barbara Vine, Barbara Trapido, Barbara Kingsolver (what is it with
"Barbara"?), Ian McEwan, some of Iain Banks (Crow Road), _Vanity Fair_, _Mrs
Dalloway_, the Brontes, Austen (but not until I was 29, hated her before
that), some of Atwood, Tales of the City (the first few) for comfort
reading, Poldark ditto. All of my grown up books are in piles on the floor
since the recent demise of a set of warped shelves, so I can't run my inner
eye over them to think of any more. Ooh, Pratchett, but I've read more of
his kids' books than Discworld. That's enough.

Music: Current on the iPod: Sarah Harmer (Canadian s/s), Robynne Dunne
(Aussie s/s), Billy Bragg, Jeff Buckley, George (Aussie band), Kristin
Hersch, 10,000 Maniacs, embarrassing downloads of bad 70s pop.

Favourite movies: A Star is Born (1954), Meet Me In St Louis (my Christmas
flick), High Fidelity, Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing (stop laughing! if you
watch it more than twice a year that counts as a favourite!), Almost Famous,
Sense and Sensibility, The Breakfast Club, The Frighteners, anything with
Bruce Willis and a gun, Fiddler on the Roof (musicals generally)--god, I
must have more high-falutin' taste than this!--Tootsie, GalaxyQuest, Say
Anything..., Rumble Fish, Fame. *sigh* Recently saw and loved _Pieces of
April_, _Mean Girls_ and _De-Lovely_.

Favourite TV: Buffy, Angel, Six Feet Under, The West Wing, Freaks and Geeks,
Joan of Arcadia (new but shaping up well), Will and Grace (it makes me laugh
and that's got to count for something in this grim world!), Black Books, The
Office, Queer as Folk. Loved The Edwardian House best of all those
re-enactment shows. Dalziel and Pascoe before this last season went off with
soap opera camera angles and dialogue; British crime in general but NOT The
Bill. Not to mention important-sounding documentaries on the public
broadcasters ;-)

Currently reading: _Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion_ Jack Zipes,
_Retelling Stories, Framing Culture_ John Stephens and Robyn McCallum, _The
Monsters and the Critics_ JRR Tolkien (thanks Charlie), _Beast_ Donna Jo
Napoli, _The Scarecrow and his Servant_ Philip Pullman (and have _The Subtle
Knife_ on audio in the car), _A Great and Terrible Beauty_ Libba Bray which
is my bed reading, _The Perilous Gard_ Pope, because I've never read it

Finally, might I take this opportunity to say that I have recently uploaded
the complete transcript of the interview I did with DWJ in 1992 to my

It was the first ever interview I did and I was a little starstruck, so be
kind if any of my bits are embarrassing! (Diana, of course, was generous and
voluble; nothing to embarrass her!)


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