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 this Jane Yolen interview that The Horn Book Magazine 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?
P.S. I am an ex-shrink who writes novels, and I believe in magic. Check out my books here.