photograph of Jane Yolen from Mythcon XXIV, by Ruth Berman, used by permission.
Jane Yolen speaks!:
"Mining the Folk Lode"
Wednesday, April 19
Andersen Library Conference Room
University of Minnesota, Mpls. West Bank Campus
Sponsored by the Children's Literature Research Collections
Jane Yolen has authored or edited more than 200 books, mostly for children. Some of her titles include the Caldecott Medal book Owl Moon, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award novels Cards of Grief and Briar Rose (both for adults) and the "Young Merlin Trilogy" (for young readers). She has also written the "Books of Great Alta" including Sister Light, Sister Dark and White Jenna for adults. Perhaps for her short stories, Jane has been called a Hans Christian Andersen for our time.
Her presentation on "Mining the Folk Lode" will discuss some of her many forays in the rich mine of folklore, discussing especially the work she's done recently on mother/daughter folk tales (in Mirror, Mirror), aged heroes (for Grey Heroes) strong young women (for Not a Damsel in Distress), and updating and republishing her now classic Touch Magic.
An autographing session will begin at 4 p.m. and will also follow the talk. Red Balloon Bookshop will be on hand to make books available for purchase.
This notice presented by The Rivendell Group monthly discussions of myth, fantasy and imaginative literature
For more information: (651)292-8887 (David) firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 293 Selby Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102-1811
or visit our web-page: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
And we'd like to call your attention to Jane's appearances at this weekend's Minicon, the Minnesota Science Fiction Convention in downtown Minneapolis, where Jane will probably be reading poetry and fiction, and possibly telling stories, and doubtless participate in panel discussions with other writers and readers on science fiction and fantasy.
We'd also like to note Jane's official web-page: http://www.janeyolen.com/
My daughter asked if Jane would ever write a sequel to Wizard's Hall, which Claire and I just recently listened to on the recording made by Jane a few years ago. I also asked whether "Tartan Magic" would have more volumes, and what other publishing plans were:
Well, I have been thinking about a possible Thornmallow's Second Year book. But there's lots more I want to do before that.
As to Tartan Magic, there's at least a third book, but Harcourt has not been making WE WANT noises, and I really have always thought there were 5 books in it.
I do have a new book from Harcourt I'm quite excited about this fall called BOOTS & THE SEVEN LEAGUERS, a rock-and-troll novel. And a series starting called the Young Heroes (Heroic Greece) fantasy novels. The first two out Winter 2000, [and coming] fall 2000 Odysseus and the Serpent Maze and Hippolyta and the Lost Amazon City.
This picture of Jane in Fish Hat was from the Lady Poetesses from Hell Poetry Reading at Minicon in 1999.
I'm not sure when it made its appearance, but I found an OFFICIAL JANE YOLEN PAGE! http://www.janeyolen.com/
I just noticed this review of the "Young Merlin" trilogy on the Mythopoeic Society web-pages, at http://www.mythsoc.org/ymtrev.html
There is a discussion list devoted to Jane' works. Find out more about it at http://www.onelist.com
The address to post messages is JaneYolen@onelist.com, and past memos are archived at the onelist site.
Here's a note I posted about Jane's recent novel:
> Subject: The One-Armed Queen
I did buy it, and read it--hm, earlier this year or late last year. It's a sequel, as you explained it (though your plot summary is in serious error in at least one point). However, the book is VERY different in tone, compared with the two earlier books. This is less about opening new possibilities and exploring into an expanding world of wonder than about getting down to the real-world problems of confronting female oppression and the patriarchy, politics and the confounded obstinacy of both men and women, adults and children, in living together. It's an impressively constructed book, and wonderfully, sensitively plotted and characterized, but it's a downer, folks. On the other hand, we knew that the wonderful Dales culture had somehow succombed to a more repressive culture, and here we can see What Went Wrong. I'd say, it's not really underlined in this book, but part of it is Jenna's problem, she turns away from her dark sister--not consciously, perhaps, but again and again in this book she avoids her and the dark sister hardly has more than an opportunity in this book to complain about being ignored and shunted away.
I don't know, yet, what I think of this book. I was very impressed after finishing it with Yolen's bravery in taking this story in such a direction, and so successfully and thoughtfully dealing with all sorts of political and personal ramifications of governing a country, and negotiating with enemies. The effects of exchanging hostages, for instance, are not something I've often thought about, and Jane makes this a personal tragedy for her characters. This story is about Reality, the unpleasant morning after the beautiful dream of "Sister Light/White Jenna" through which the dream still lingers, and which can (with effort) affect and shape the developing morning. I'm not saying this well, and I don't know how to as I don't know all what I think about this, as yet.
I will post this note on my Jane Yolen web-page, along with a note about JaneYolen@onelist.com. If anyone wants to place any comments about Jane's work on my page I'd be interested in collecting such comments there.
I hear that Jane Yolen's THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC --film version on Showtime--was pretty good.
7/31/98. (actually, I'm posting this on 4/5/99, but I should've thought to do this last summer).
Jane Yolen received the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for her YA books, the "Young Merlin trilogy: Pasager, Hobby and Merlin. The award was announced at the C.S. Lewis Centenary Conference of the Mythopoeic Society (Mythcon XXIX).
She must be the first to receive the MFA three times: she has previously won for her adult novels Cards of Grief and Briar Rose.
5/4/98 FLASH--Jane Yolen Wins Nebula for Best Short Story!
The Nebula Winners are:
Writer Emeritus: Nelson S. Bond
Service Award: Robin Wayne Bailey
Short Story: Jane Yolen, "Sister Emily's Lightship"
Novelette: Nancy Kress, "The Flowers of Aulit Prison"
Novella: Jerry Oltion, "Abandon in Place"
Novel: Vonda McIntyre, The Moon and the Sun
These files used by permission of the authors.
Jane Yolen has previously been honored by the Mythopoeic Society
as guest of honor at Mythcon XV, and with our Mythopoeic Fantasy
Award for her novel, Cards of Grief. Her work continues
to be the subject in many write-ups and reviews in our newsletter,
on our annual awards ballots, in our Discussion Groups and apas,
and at Mythcon-and with her being over forty books ahead of her
publishers (yes, not even all of the publishers in New York can
keep up with Jane Yolen!) there's no sign things will ever change.
When our committee originally discussed whom to invite as Mythcon guest, Jane's name came up immediately. "No, she's been Mythcon guest of honor," came the response, seeming to settle the matter. Sometime later, Eric observed that while Jane had been guest of honor, it was in honor of her creative writing. "How about her scholarship," he wondered, since Mythcon usually honors one guest for creative writing, another guest for scholarship. Eric's logic was unassailable. After a momentary silence, no further discussion was necessary. I volunteered to ask her via computer bulletin board e-mail, and the matter being settled, we were able to move on to other important topics, like should we have a T-shirt for sale, and what should be on the banquet menu, and should our papers be juried.
The wonderful thing about Jane's scholarship is that it so permeates everything she does. While a few of her books, Touch Magic, Writing Books for Children, and Favorite Folktales from Around the World, would in themselves provide her with scholarly credentials, it is her other activities that make her scholarship so important. Perhaps Jane is Science Fiction and Fantasy's Margaret Mead. While she has her own Coming of Age in Samoa , (actually, she probably has half a dozen equivalents) to provide her with credentials as a Children's, Fantasy and Science Fiction writer/expert/spokesperson, she couldn't be so effective if she weren't so immediately accessible and understandable to everyone. She speaks magisterially on any subject, and she speaks a lot. From anyone else this would be tiresome, but Jane is always insightful, memorably expressive, and delivers even criticism with a generosity that makes one grateful for the opportunity to improve. Scholarship isn't worth much unless it is communicated, and Jane is more than anything else, a teacher. She nurtures other writers in a collaborative fashion, helping her students become successful writers, and editing an impressive line of children's fantasy novels.
Recently I spent hours examining some of Jane's manuscripts in the Kerlan Collection holdings. It was a revelation to see her careful and diligent work, refining an idea into a first, second, third, fifth draft. To read the letters she exchanges with her editor, and her agent is to follow the cooporative process of creating a picture book. What a lot of craft and effort goes into those thirty-two pages, composed largely of white space!. Afterwards I discovered how much more effort went into The Magic Three of Solatia! Lastly, examining the manuscripts of the stories Jane edited for her Werewolves anthology I saw that she is no less careful and insightful as an editor. She never fails to consider a suggestion by the copy editor, rejecting this one, accepting that. But always she is aware of the writer's voice, grasping instantly the implications of a change to that story, even when this is not apparent in the immediate context. She defends and corrects her writers, always with intelligence and grace.
Besides her unbelievably prolific professional career, Jane still finds time to participate in such fannish activities as her two children's fantasy apas. (An "apa" or "amateur press association" is a kind of discussion group-by-mail). I'm in one of those with Jane, the bimonthly Once Upon a Time. Here, and in her GEnie bulletin board postings we see the first draft of Jane's thoughts. Typographical errors abound-on GEnie there are frequent spelling corrections a couple of lines further on-but there are never errors in judgment or shortages of creative brilliance, which flashes out of these unpolished, uncut gems like Hopkins' plowed earth "gash[ed] gold-vermilion." She keeps up with her family, she comments on issues of the day with the same energy that she brings to her art and craft.
Increasingly her fiction reflects her scholarly theory, as most fiction in the past couple of decades has become self-referential, so too has her theory. Her guest of honor speech at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, "Oh God, Here Come the Elves!" began with the immediate authorial experience, a presumably autobiographical account of an experience writing her novel, White Jenna, but it quickly becomes a story itself, and engages the reader who suddenly finds her/himself avidly reading a theoretical discussion of the writing process, which cites a number of previous authorities without becoming arid. Before one can do more than admire the wonderfully clever way that she has hooked her reader on this discussion of theory, one is swept away by the eloquence and content of a critical manifesto which delights, teaches, and I believe, discovers something new. Personalizing the abstract makes it real, makes it important. This is scholarship. This is activism. This is story. This is Jane Yolen.
Although I'm not taking this down, quite yet, it is superseded
in usefulness by the bibliography on Jane's own OFFICIAL JANE
YOLEN PAGE at http://www.janeyolen.com/
arranged by David Bratman with much assistance from the Author
published in Mythprint, Vol.30 No.7 July, 1993
this file used by permission
Novels (Fantasy and SF)
The Books of Great Alta
Sister Light, Sister Dark (Tor, 1988)
White Jenna (Tor, 1989)
Briar Rose (Tor, 1992) here's a review
Cards of Grief (Ace, 1984)
The Devil's Arithmetic (Viking, 1988)
The Dragon's Boy (HarperCollins, 1990)
The Magic Three of Solatia (Crowell, 1974)
The Mermaid's Three Wisdoms (Collins, 1978)
The Pit Dragon Triology
Dragon's Blood (Delacorte, 1982)
Heart's Blood (Delacorte, 1984)
A Sending of Dragons (Delacorte, 1987)
The Stone Silenus (Philomel, 1984)
The Transfigured Hart (Crowell, 1975)
The Wizard of Washington Square (World, 1969)
Wizard's Hall (Harcourt Brace, 1991)
The Boy Who Spoke Chimp (Knopf, 1981)
Children of the Wolf (Viking, 1984)
The Gift of Sarah Barker (Viking, 1984)
Trust a City Kid (with Anne Huston) (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1966)
Short Fantasies and Fairy Tales
The Acorn Quest (Crowell, 1981)
Baby Bear's Bedtime Book (Harcourt Brace, 1990)
Beneath the Ghost Moon (Little Brown, 1993)
The Bird of Time (Crowell, 1971)
The Boy Who Had Wings (Crowell, 1974)
Brothers of the Wind (Philomel, 1981)
The Commander Toad books
Commander Toad in Space (Coward McCann, 1980)
Commander Toad and the Planet of the Grapes (Coward McCann, 1982)
Commander Toad and the Big Black Hole (Coward McCann, 1983)
Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid (Coward McCann, 1985)
Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy (Coward McCann, 1986)
Commander Toad and the Space Pirates (Coward McCann, 1987)
Dove Isabeau (Harcourt Brace, 1989)
Eeny, Meeny, Miney Mole (Harcourt Brace, 1992)
Elfabet: An ABC of Elves (Little Brown, 1990)
The Emperor and the Kite (World, 1967)
The Giants' Farm (Seabury/Clarion, 1977)
The Giants Go Camping (Seabury/Clairon, 1979)
The Girl Who Loved the Wind (Harper, 1972)
Greyling: A Picture Story from the Islands of
Shetland (Philomel, 1968)
Gwinellen: The Princess Who Could Not Sleep (Macmillan, 1965)
Hannah Dreaming (Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, 1977)
Hobo Toad and the Motorcycle Gang (World, 1970)
Isabel's Noel (Funk and Wagnalls, 1967)
The Lady and the Merman (Pennyroyal, 1977)
The Little Spotted Fish (Seabury, 1975)
Mice on Ice (Dutton, 1980)
The Minstrel and the Mountain (World, 1967)
Mouse's Birthday (Putnam, 1993)
Rainbow Rider (Crowell, 1974)
The Seeing Stick (Crowell, 1977)
The Seventh Mandarin (Seabury, 1970)
The Simple Prince (Parents Magazine Press, 1978)
The Sleeping Beauty (Ariel/Knopf, 1986)
Sleeping Ugly (Putnam, 1981)
Spider Jane (Coward McCann, 1978)
Spider Jane on the Move (Coward McCann, 1980)
The Sultan's Perfect Tree (Parents Magazine Press, 1977)
The Sword and the Stone (Pulphouse, 1991)
Tam Lin: An Old Ballad (Harcourt Brace, 1990)
The Traveler's Rose (Philomel, 1993)
Wings (Harcourt Brace, 1991)
The Witch Who Wasn't (Macmillan, 1964)
All Those Secrets of the World (Little Brown, 1991)
Encounter (Harcourt Brace, 1992)
Grandad Bill's Song (Philomel, 1993)
Honkers (Little Brown, 1993)
It All Depends (Funk and Wagnalls, 1969)
Letting Swift River Go (Little Brown, 1992)
The Longest Name on the Block (Funk and Wagnalls, 1968)
Milkweed Days (Crowell, 1976)
No Bath Tonight (Crowell, 1978)
Owl Moon (Philomel, 1987)
See This Little Line? (McKay, 1963)
Sky Dogs (Harocourt Brace, 1990)
Uncle Lemon's Spring (Unicorn/Dutton, 1981)
The Inway Investigators (Seabury, 1969)
The Piggins books
Piggins (Harcourt Brace, 1987)
Picnic With Piggins (Harcourt Brace, 1988)
Piggins and the Royal Wedding (Harcourt Brace, 1988)
The Robot and Rebecca: The Mystery of the Code
Carrying Kids (Knopf, 1981)
Shirlick Holmes and the Case of the Wandering
Wardrobe (Coward McCann, 1981)
Bragonfield and Other Stories (Ace, 1985)
Dream Weaver (Philomel, 1979)
The Faery Flag: Stories and Poems of Fantasy
and the Supernatural (Orchard, 1989)
The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales (Crowell, 1974)
Hark!: A Christmas Sampler (Putnam, 1991)
Here There Be Dragons (Harcourt Brace, 1993)
The Hundredth Dove and Other Tales (Crowell, 1977)
Merlin's Booke (Ace/SteelDragon, 1986)
The Moon Ribbon and Other Tales (Crowell, 1976)
Neptune Rising (Philomel, 1982)
Storyteller (NESFA Press, 1992)
Tales of Wonder (Schoken, 1983)
The Whitethorn Tree and Other Magicks (Triskell, 1984)
The Wizard Islands (Crowell, 1973)
All In the Woodland Early: An ABC Book (Collins/Putnam, 1979)
Best Witches: Poems for Halloween (Putnam, 1989)
Bird Watch (Philomel, 1990)
Dinosaur Dances (Putnam, 1990)
Dragon Night and Other Lullabies (Methuen, 1980)
How Beastly!: A Menagerie of Nonsense Poems (Collins, 1980)
An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball: A Counting Rhyme (Parents Magazine Press, 1976)
Raining Cats and Dogs (Harcourt Brace, 1993)
Ring of Earth: A Child's Book of Seasons (Harcourt Brace, 1986)
Sacred Places (Harcourt Brace, 1994)
The Three Bears Rhyme Book (Harcourt Brace, 1987)
What Rhymes With Moon? (Philomel, 1993)
The Fireside Song Book of Birds and Beasts (Simon and Schuster, 1972)
Jane Yolen's Mother Goose Songbook (Boyds Mills Press, 1992)
The Lap-Time Song and Play Book (Harcourt Brace, 1989)
The Lullaby Songbook (Harcourt Brace, 1986)
Rounds About Rounds (Watts, 1977)
Friend: The Story of George Fox and the Quakers (Seabury, 1972)
Guide to Writing for Children (The Writer, 1989)
A Letter from Phoenix Farm (Owens, 1992)
Pirates in Petticoats (McKay, 1963)
Ring Out!: A Book of Bells (Seabury, 1974)
Simple Gifts: The Story of the Shakers (Viking 1976)
Touch Magic (Philomel, 1981)
Welcome to the Green House (picture book) (Putnam, 1993)
World on a String: The Story of Kites (World,
Writing Books for Children (The Writer, 1973)
Anthologies Edited by Jane Yolen
Dragons and Dreams (HarperCollins, 1986)
Favorite Folktales from Around the World (Pantheon 1986)
Shape Shifters (Seabury/Clarion, 1978)
Spaceships and Spells (HarperCollins, 1987)
Street Rhymes Around the World (Wordsong, 1992)
Things That Go Bump in the Night (HarperCollins,1989)
2041 (Delacorte, 1991)
Vampires (HarperCollins, 1991)
Werewolves (HarperCollins, 1988)
Xanadu (Tor, 1993)
Zoo 2000 (Seabury, 1973)
Another bibliography: http://www.interlog.com/~ohi/inkspot/a-yolen.html
A more recent list of Jane Yolen books by genre
And what's coming up from Jane
THE OFFICIAL JANE Y OLEN PAGE: http://www.janeyolen.com/
A Jane Yolen link! http://www.mca.com/putnam/authors/jane_yolen/txt_author.html
A Fan Page for Commander Toad!! http://home.att.net/~jcwong/toad.htm
A good link to explore: Jane answers questions:
Here's another note from Jane: http://pages.prodigy.com/childrens_writers/janeyole.htm
Jane Yolen Teacher Resource Unit page: http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/yolen.htm
Here's a nice review and interview: http://www.bookpage.com/9901bp/jane_yolen.html
A link to a a note about the film of The Devil's Arithmetic: http://gazettenet.com/03151999/entertai/10098.htm
Another profile: http://members.aol.com/nescbwi/author.html
Jane is an honorary member of the Children's Fantasy apa page, Once Upon a Time
I'd like to add more Jane Yolen links. If you know of a good
one, please let me know, at
Walk through the wood between the
This page is maintained by David Lenander, review recent updates here, and please forward comments or criticism to email@example.com