For a writer so notoriously prolific (closing in on three hundred titles, according to Wikipedia) Jane Yolen is notable for maintaining a high standard of writing across many genres, including poetry, picture book texts, and fiction of both the realistic and fantastic kinds. Her latest novel, Snow in Summer, is a fresh blend of historical fiction and fairy tale, a “Snow White” set in 1930s West Virginia.
Here is an excerpt from an interview The Horn Book Magazine did recently called Five Questions for Jane Yolen. Of those five questions, I especially liked her answer to number 4, so I’ve pasted it below.
4.Do you believe in magic?
JY: I believe there are prestidigitators who can do card tricks and saw-the-woman-in half tricks. I believe there are politicians who can make us believe up is down and wrong is right. I believe there are preachers who try to sell us a mess of pottage.
And then I believe that an owl in flight, a hawk in stoop, an otter rising out of the duckweed, a triple rainbow over the Isle of May, the New Jersey skyline as seen from the Highline in Manhattan on a night of the full moon, the small greenings of spring, honeybees on a blossom, and a newborn’s finger curled around mine are small everyday miracles, another word for ordinary magic. And that I believe in.
Oh — and if anyone can show me a real fairy, or a ghost, or a unicorn, I am so there . . . .
I like what she says about “ordinary magic.” Sometimes in the early morning, when the mist is clinging to the mountain range outside my window, I could believe in almost anything. So what’s your stance on magic? Are you a believer?