British speculative fiction writer, Diana Wynne Jones, has published over forty books for middle school to adult readers, and her work continues to receive many awards for its creativity and high quality. Jones is a prolific and talented writer who has contributed to and influenced speculative fiction. She uses magical contexts to comment on social situations in what she sees as an essentially non-magical world. Whether she is being humorous, drawing upon myths and legends, or using fantasy or science fiction, Jones reflects the contemporary unpredictable adolescent mind. Jones's unusual childhood has influenced her writing, and a brief biography of Jones's life provides insight into her work—why certain themes have greater interest to her over others. Recurring themes in her books include alienation, empowerment, and identification. Through often convoluted plots, she encourages her readers to think for themselves. From her stories, readers learn to appreciate and accept the complexity and inexplicability of life. While her themes are consistent, her work varies. Some of her work is humorous, some is based on myths, some leans more towards science fiction than fantasy, and some seems more like fantasy than science fiction. Despite this diversity, Jones consistently seeks to learn from her own work by questioning basic assumptions and endeavors to contribute wisdom to her readers through her fiction. Jones uses myth and the heroic ideal to encourage readers to question their motives and recognize the empowerment that comes from self-sacrifice.



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Humanities; English



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Diana Wynne Jones, British literature, fantasy, children's literature, young adult literature, speculative fiction