[DWJ] endings [was Best of 2008]

Jenny Schwartzberg schwartzbergj at newberry.org
Mon Dec 29 11:07:02 EST 2008


Okay, what was the author's intention for Podkayne?  I loved that book 
as a kid but haven't read it in umpteen years.  Curious here.  I also 
remember some talk about the Ogre Downstairs getting meddled with but I 
don't remember the details and would like to know more.  It's always 
been one of the few DWJ books I really couldn't get into, maybe because 
of the alterations?  For that matter I finally read Aunt Maria after 
having it on my shelf for many years.  It struck me as akin to Fire and 
Hemlock in Mig's confusion about what was really happening and if there 
was magic involved.  For some reason both my brother and I had trouble 
starting it.  The beginning of the book really is difficult to get 
into.  What happened here?  We read it because my brother's son loves 
this book (due to my giving it to him in a pile of books :) ).

Yours,
Jenny Schwartzberg

estairm at yahoo.com wrote:
> Minnow wrote:
>
> Maybe the ending of 'Podkayne' jars because it isn't what the
> author intended, and doesn't quite say what the author meant it to say, which the original that we now have available to look at did do -- as with *The Ogre Downstairs*, which was published with its ending severely changed at the insistence of the publisher.
>
> [...]
>
> I don't think that McK wrote something different and had to change it, with
> the original only appearing after her death, though.  She's an author for
> the publisher to avoid messing about, would be my feeling -- just as DWJ
> would not nowadays be obliged to change a book's ending just because a
> publisher's wonk re-wrote the last chapter and then said 'either you do
> as I say or we publish it with my fluffy purple footballs'...  She would tell that publisher's wonk to take a long jump off a short pier if they were to try it on.
>
> Minnow
>
>
> This may be a well-known story in DWJ circles, if so, I missed it.  What did DWJ's original ending look like?  How does she feel about the coerced ending, and the book as a whole?  
>
> Was the original ending much darker?
>
> Thank you very much,
> Esther
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