Big Read: Before and After Harry Potter: YA and Fantasy
Thursday October 13, 2011
While J.K. Rowling's work may have popularized fantasy for mainstream readers, there has always been a strong tradition of such stories for young readers in British and American fiction. And it is these lesser-known but beloved works, as much as Rowling's and even Tolkien's fantasy, that inspired today's generation of successful fantasists. Hear some of today's most popular YA writers discuss what came before - and what's coming next! Authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Justine Larbalestier, Chris Moriarty, and moderator Delia Sherman join us for this panel.
Holly Black is the bestselling author of the Spiderwick series. Her Modern Faerie Tales series is comprised of Tithe, which was an ALA Top Ten Book for Teens and received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews; Valiant, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Locus Magazine Recommended Read, and a recipient of the Andre Norton Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America; and Ironside, the sequel to Tithe, was a New York Times bestseller. White Cat, the first book in the Curse Workers series, was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and BCCB. Red Glove, the second book in the Curse Workers series, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Holly has also written a collection of short stories, The Poison Eaters and Other Stories. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Visit Holly at blackholly.com.
Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name). After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again.
Justine Larbalestier is the author of Liar, How To Ditch Your Fairy, and the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and divides her time between Sydney and New York City. www.justinelarbalestier.com
Chris Moriarty writes fantasy and science fiction for kids of all ages. Her second novel, Spin Control, won the Philip K. Dick Award, and her books have been shortlisted for Campbell, Lambda, and Spectrum Awards. Chris's most recent book is The Inquisitor’s Apprentice, a fantasy set on New York's Lower East Side that she wrote for her own son so he could enjoy a book about a Jewish boy wizard that celebrated his immigrant heritage. Kirkus gave The Inquisitor's Apprentice a starred review, and Cory Doctorow (author of Little Brother) called it "a great magic trick ... one of those incredibly promising first volumes that makes you hope that the writer’s got plenty more where it came from.”
Delia Sherman writes stories and novels for both younger readers and adults. Her most recent short stories have appeared in the YA anthology Steampunk! and in Ellen Datlow’s Naked City. Her adult novels are Through a Brazen Mirror, The Porcelain Dove, and The Fall of the Kings (with Ellen Kushner). Her recent middle-grade novels, Changeling and The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen, are set in the magical world of New York Between. Her newest novel, The Freedom Maze, is a time-travel historical set in ante-bellum Louisiana. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching, editing, knitting, and cooking. She lives in New York City with partner Ellen Kushner.