Diana Wynne Jones was born on August 16, 1934, in London, England. Her philosophy of writing for young people developed from the unpleasantness of her childhood. Besides being displaced several times after 1939 because of the onset of World War II, Jones was forced to endure parental neglect. By 1943, when her parents settled in rural Essex to manage a conference/ cultural center, they chose to reside apart from their three daughters. The girls were housed in an uncomfortable two-room hut and often had to go without reading because their father refused to supply enough books. Jones turned to writing her own stories.
After she was married to university professor John Burrow, Jones took up writing because she could not find enough good children's books for their three sons. As a graduate of St. Anne's College, Oxford, she retained strong impressions of the fantasy writers C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, who taught there. Deciding that realistic writing could be painful to read, she concluded that writing fantasy was the best way to provide the kind of books she herself was deprived of as a child. She wanted books to be highly imaginative and humorous, as well as to help young readers cope with their own problems, including difficult adults.
Jones has published adult novels (Changeover, 1970; A Sudden Wild Magic, 1992) but has concentrated primarily on the younger reader since her first children's book appeared in 1973. Besides...
(The entire section is 324 words.)