Bio: Joan Aiken (1924?2004) was born in Rye, Sussex, England, into a literary family: her father was the poet and writer Conrad Aiken and her siblings the novelists Jane Aiken Hodge and John Aiken. After her parents? divorce, her mother married the popular English writer Martin Armstrong.
Aiken began writing at the age of five and her first collection of stories, All You?ve Ever Wanted (which included the first Armitage family stories), was published when she was eighteen. After her first husband?s death, Aiken supported her family by copyediting at Argosy and working at an advertising agency before turning full time to writing fiction. She went on to write for Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair, Women?s Own, and many other magazines.
She wrote over a hundred books (including The Way to Write for Children) and was perhaps best known for the dozen novels in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series. She received the Guardian and Edgar Allan Poe awards for fiction and in 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her contributions to children?s literature.
Find out more about her at www.joanaiken.com.
Joan Aiken's short stories of the gothic, the uncanny, and the unexpected have captivated readers for fifty years. They're funny, smartly observed, and occasionally very, very scary. The nineteen stories collected here for the first time include two previously published under the pseudonym Nicholas Dee as well as six stories never before published. There are also two introductions: one by Aiken herself, and the other by Lizza Aiken, her daughter. A Monkey's Wedding is a traditional description ... more info>>
Because of a wish made by their mother before they were born, the two Armitage children, Mark and Harriet, lead lives full of magic and strangeness. Every Monday (and sometimes on a Tuesday) "interesting" things happen to the Armitage family: the Board of Incantation tries to take over their house to use as a school for young wizards; the purchase of a golden apple at a bargain price brings a visit from the Furies; Harriet climbs an apple tree and finds herself in the Land of Heroes. In the titl... more info>>