Diana Wynne Jones

Archer's Gone

On Saturday, Diana Wynne Jones died.

I only knew her books, and they are extraordinary. Desperately homely worlds that rolled out into infinite branching wonders. Unassuming characters in ramshackle households who learned to be heroes within, and in spite of, and because of their families. Enormously silly chaotic denouements which make absolute sense in the world of the book, and luminous strange endings which are inexplicable and yet must be – surely are! – happy. Books that make me want to go outside and look at the sky, and do things. And now, I want to stay inside and read them all again.

Some years ago, the DWJ mailing list was discussing lines from her novels which had found their way into their lives, among which, from Archer’s Goon, was the cry, “Hathaway! Send a bus!”, professed to be useful in situations of transport-deficiency.

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