[DWJ] Impress of first book? (was Homeward Bounders)

Martha Hixon marthahixon at gmail.com
Thu Apr 14 09:10:18 EDT 2011

I came to Jones as an adult reader. The first book I read was *Archer's Goon
*, and I fell in love with the surprising twists she built into that
book. It's still the one I suggest reading first to people, though I
introduce my students to *Howl's Moving Castle *because it can fit in with a
fairytale course syllabus. (Sadly, I rarely find a student who already knows
Jones, though I have, on occasion..

**Then I found *Fire and Hemlock*, which happened to coincide with my
academic work at that time (working on retellings of the Tam Lin ballad), so
it was the first DWJ book I really grappled with analytically, as opposed to
simply reading for enjoyment. (Some of you may say that you don't divide
your reading in such a way, but then, I'm an academic, and besides, I do
think that some of her books lend themselves to simply enjoying the ride,
while others, such as *Hexwood,* almost beg for deconstructing to figure out
just what she was trying to say.)

But I have to admit, I don't really care for the Dalemark Quartet--and
couldn't even finish *Drowned Ammet,* much to my chagrin. And, I've found I
don't really get into her short stories, either. DWJ was best at the long
haul, where she could indulge her complex sense of fun and surprise.


Dr. Martha P. Hixon
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
615-898-2599 / mhixon at mtsu.edu

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM, Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>wrote:

> In responses to A. M. Winslow's post below, I have been wondering if the
> first DWJ one reads influences one ever after.  My first was Tale of Time
> City, which I still love. There are probably books I love as much or even
> more--Howl's Moving Castle, The Lives of Christopher Chant--but in my mind I
> always have DWJ's books lined up after that first one.
> Jameela Lares
> Professor of English
> The University of Southern Mississippi
> 118 College Drive, #5037
> Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
> 601 266-4319 ofc
> 601 266-5757 fax
> ________________________________________
> From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of A.M.
> Winslow [debrisoftheages at yahoo.co.uk]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:58 AM
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Homeward Bounders
> The Homeward Bounders was actually the first of DWJ's books that I read.  I
> was about twelve at the time, and writing a (horrifically bad) novel about a
> character who traveled to different parallel worlds (I was fairly obsessed
> with quantum physics at the time, a phase which quickly left me).  I was
> also a very lonely person.  My sister had recommended a DWJ book -- Charmed
> Life, I think -- but the only one I could find at the bookstore was the
> Homeward Bounders.  I bought it -- and absolutely devoured it.  It was, in
> my opinion, the perfect book -- exactly the book I wanted to have written in
> place of my horrific one, if only I had the skill.  There's something in
> that book which has always touched me on a level none of the others have; I
> felt like I had a personal connection to the protagonist -- which is
> depressing, I guess -- or would be, except that I'm not longer either twelve
> or desperately lonely.
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