[DWJ] DWJ, Time of the Ghost, and awful childhoods

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Sun Dec 10 17:00:54 EST 2006

> And then I thought about it for a minute, and said, "Well, except
> for Diana Wynne Jones.  She had such an awful childhood that
> *her* semi-autobiographical fantasy novel is almost unreadably
> pessimistic, and is far *less* optimistic and hopeful about the
> future than anything else she's written. "  Now that I think of
> it, TotG is so pessimistic that there's no hope at all for the
> child protagonists.  One interpretation is that the child
> protagonists are doomed, but they have one hope: to grow up as
> quickly as possible, because childhood is going to suck like
> nobody's business, and if they can get it over with as quickly as
> possible they can get on with the less miserable parts of life.
> Not really a children's book conclusion at all, when you think
> about it.

Yes, I thought about that when I read DWJ's review of one of Hilary 
McKay's books -- I think it was _Saffy's Angel_. She seemed to be quite 
fierce  about the idea that no-one could possibly have a good time 
growing up like that, and that it was all terrible. I wondered if my 
enjoyment of the books and her dislike of them came from exactly the 
same source-- the feeling that they cut a little too close to the bone 
in personal history.

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it screams
'Why don't you ever listen to me?' and lets fly with a club."

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