|Born||Jennifer Carolyn Robin McKinley
November 16, 1952
Warren, Ohio, US
|Genre||Children's fantasy novels, Bildungsroman, fairy tales|
|Notable awards||Newbery Medal
World Fantasy Award
|Spouse||Peter Dickinson (1991-2015)|
Jennifer Carolyn Robin McKinley (born November 16, 1952), known as Robin McKinley, is an American author of fantasy and children's books. Her 1984 novel The Hero and the Crown won the Newbery Medal as the year's best new American children's book.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Works
- 2.1 Children's picture books
- 2.2 Adaptations
- 2.3 Stand Alone Novels
- 2.4 Serial Novels
- 2.5 Novels in Series
- 2.6 Anthologies
- 2.7 Collections
- 2.8 Other collections to which she has contributed
- 2.9 Complete List of Short Stories and Short Retellings
- 2.10 Collections
- 2.11 Nonfiction
- 3 Selected scholarly works about McKinley
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Robin McKinley was born as Jennifer Carolyn Robin McKinley on November 16, 1952 in Warren, Ohio. Her father William McKinley was an officer in the United States Navy and her mother Jeanne Turrell McKinley was a teacher. As a result of her father's changing naval posts, McKinley grew up all over the world including in California, New York, Japan, and Maine. She was educated at Gould Academy, a preparatory school in Bethel, Maine. McKinley went on to attend college, first at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1970–1972. She finished her college education at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and graduated summa cum laude in 1975.
Robin McKinley currently lives in Hampshire, England. Her husband was author Peter Dickinson; they were married from 1991 until his death in 2015. They had no children, though Dickinson had children from a previous relationship. McKinley has two dogs nicknamed Chaos and Darkness. Her "obsessions" include learning how to play the piano, horseback riding, gardening, cooking, and bell ringing.
After graduating from college, she remained in Maine for several years working as a research assistant and later in a bookstore. During this time, she completed her first book, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. It was accepted for publication by the first publisher it was sent to and upon publication immediately pushed McKinley to prominence. The book was named an American Library Association Notable Children's Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
Robin McKinley has written a variety of novels, mostly in the fantasy genre. Several of her novels are her own personal renditions of classic fairy tales with a "feminist twist". These retellings usually feature a strong female protagonist who does not wait to be rescued but instead takes an active role in determining the course of her own life. Beauty and Rose Daughter are both versions of Beauty and the Beast, Spindle's End is the story of Sleeping Beauty, and Deerskin and two of the stories in The Door in the Hedge are based on other folk-tales. Besides adapting classic fairy tales, McKinley wrote her own rendition of the Robin Hood story in her novel The Outlaws of Sherwood.
McKinley has written two novels set in the imaginary land of Damar, The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. Her contribution to the Imaginary Lands anthology and the stories in A Knot in the Grain are also set there. She describes herself as a "scribe" and "Damar's historian", because the stories "happen to her" and she is only responsible for writing them down. The stories of Damar have been occurring to her since before she wrote Beauty, and The Blue Sword was intended to be the first of a series about this land.
McKinley's standalone novels include Sunshine and Dragonhaven.
The heroines in McKinley's books reflect certain qualities that she saw in herself as a young woman: clumsiness, plainness, bookishness, and disinterest in the usual social games that involve flirting and dating. She has said, "I didn't discover boys because they didn't discover me, and because their standards of discovery seemed to me too odd to be aspired to. They were the ones who got to have adventures, while we got to—well, not have adventures."
McKinley says she writes about strong heroines because she feels very strongly about the potential for girls to be "doing things", and she feels that the selection of fantasy literature featuring girls is scarce and unsatisfactory. According to biographer Marilyn H. Karrenbrock, "McKinley's females do not simper; they do not betray their own nature to win a man's approval. But neither do they take love lightly or put their own desires before anything else. In McKinley's books, the romance, like the adventure, is based upon ideals of faithfulness, duty, and honor."
- 1983 Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword.
- 1985 Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown.
- 1986 World Fantasy Award for Anthology/Collection for Imaginary Lands, as editor.
- 1998 Phoenix Award Honor Book for Beauty.
- 2004 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine.
Children's picture books
- Rowan (1992), Illustrated by Donna Ruff
- My Father is in the Navy (1992), Illustrated by Martine Gourbalt
- The Stone Fey (1998), Illustrated by John Clapp
- Black Beauty Storybook Edition (1986), Illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Stand Alone Novels
- Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (1978) - Folktales
- The Outlaws of Sherwood (1988)
- Deerskin (1993)
- Rose Daughter (1997) - Folktales
- Spindle's End (2000) - Folktales
- Sunshine (2003)
- Dragonhaven (2007)
- Chalice (2008)
- Shadows (2013)
- Kes A self-published serial novel that updates weekly (2012-Ongoing)
Novels in Series
Short Stories set in Damar include:
- The Healer (1982)
- The Stagman (1984)
- The Stone Fey (1998)
- A Pool in the Desert (2004)
- Pegasus (2010)
- Ebon (forthcoming), sequel to Pegasus, anticipated 2016 
- The Golden Country (forthcoming), Pegasus # 3, anticipated 2017 
- Imaginary Lands (1986), editor and contributor
- Paper Dragons, by James P. Blaylock
- The Old Woman and the Storm by Patricia A. McKillip
- The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Robert Westall
- Flight by Peter Dickinson
- Evian Steel by Jane Yolen
- Stranger Blood by P. C. Hodgell
- The Curse of Igamor by Michael de Larrabeiti
- Tam Lin by Joan D. Vinge
- The Stone Fey by Robin McKinley
- The Door in the Hedge (1981)
- The Stolen Princess
- The Princess and the Frog
- The Hunting of the Hind
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses
- The Healer
- The Stagman
- Touk's House
- A Knot in the Grain
Tales of Elemental Spirits
- Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits (2004), by Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley
- Prologue: The Water Sprite by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
- The Mermaid Song by Peter Dickinson
- The Sea-King's Son by Robin McKinley
- Sea Serpent by Peter Dickinson
- Water Horse by Robin McKinley
- Kraken by Peter Dickinson
- A Pool in the Desert by Robin McKinley
- Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits (2009), by Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley
- Phoenix by Peter Dickinson
- Hellhound by Robin McKinley
- Firework by Peter Dickinson
- Salamander Man by Peter Dickinson
- First Flight by Robin McKinley
- Earth and Air (2012), the third collection in the Elemental Spirits series was written by Peter Dickinson.
Other collections to which she has contributed
- Elsewhere, Volume II (1982), edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold, with The Healer
- Elsewhere, Volume III (1984), edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold, with The Stagman
- Faery! (1985), edited by Terri Windling, with Touk's House
- Dragons and Warrior Daughters: Fantasy Stories by Women Writers (1989), edited by Jessica Yates, with The Healer
- Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder (1989) edited by David G. Hartwell, with The Princess and the Frog
- Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture (1991), edited by Jack D. Zipes, with The Princess and the Frog
- Silver Birch, Blood Moon (The Snow White, Blood Red Anthology Series # 5), 1999, edited by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling, with Marsh-Magic
- The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection (2003), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, with "A Pool in the Desert"
- Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 45 (February 2014), edited by John Joseph Adams, with Hellhound
Complete List of Short Stories and Short Retellings
- The Stolen Princess (1981 in The Door in the Hedge)
- The Princess and the Frog (1981 in The Door in the Hedge; 1989 in Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder; 1991 in Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture)
- The Hunting of the Hind (1981 in The Door in the Hedge)
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses (1981 in The Door in the Hedge)
- The Healer (1982 in Elsewhere, Volume II; 1989 in Dragons and Warrior Daughters: Fantasy Stories by Women Writers; 1994 in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories)
- The Stagman (1984 in Elsewhere, Volume III; 1994 in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories)
- Touk's House (1985 in Faery!; 1994 in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories)
- The Stone Fey (1986 in Imaginary Lands; 1998 standalone)
- Buttercups (1994 in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories)
- A Knot in the Grain (1994 in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories)
- Marsh-Magic (1999 in Silver Birch, Blood Moon)
- A Pool in the Desert (2003 in This Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection 2004 in Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits)
- Prologue: The Water Sprite by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson (2004 in Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits)
- The Sea-King's Son (2004 in Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits)
- Water Horse (2004 in Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits)
- Hellhound (2009 in Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits; 2014 in Lightspeed Magazine Issue 45)
- First Flight (2009 in Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits)
- A Robin McKinley Collection: Spindle's End, The Hero and the Crown, and The Blue Sword (2002)
- The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children # 2, originally published 1904), by E. Nesbit
- On the School Assignment Letter
- In her own Words
- Ordinary Heroes. - More about Robin Hood.
- The Story behind "Rose Daughter"
- Notes on the Roses
- Author As Bitch from Hell, or Ways to Persuade Me I Would Rather Be Cleaning Bathrooms Than Answering Book Mail
- Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech (1985)
- The Wrong Speech (Wiscon 2005)
- Gould Academy Graduation Speech
- "The Outlaws of Sherwood": Interview
- Twenty Hundred Words
- Imaginary Interview
- Interview by John Morgan
- Video Interview by Tim Podell of "Good Conversations"!
Selected scholarly works about McKinley
- Altmann, Anna E. "Welding Brass Tits on the Armor: An Examination of the Quest Metaphor in Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown". Children's Literature in Education 23.3 (Sept. 1992): 143–56. Reprint in CLR 127.
- Cadden, Michael. "The Illusion of Control: Narrative Authority in Robin McKinley's Beauty and The Blue Sword". Mythlore 20.2 (Spring 1994): 16–19. Reprint in CLR 127.
- Cadden, Mike. "Home Is a Matter of Blood, Time, and Genre: Essentialism in Burnett and McKinley". ARIEL 28.1 (Jan. 1997): 53–67. Reprint in CLR 127.
- Hearne, Betsy. "Beauty and the Beast: Visions and Revisions of an Old Tale: 1950–1985". Lion and the Unicorn 12.2 (Dec. 1988): 74–111. Reprint in CLR 127.
- Maryellen, Harris. "Beauty and the Beast: 20th Century Romance?". Merveilles and Contes 3.1 (May 1989): 75–83. Reprint Children's Literature Review. Ed. Scot Peacock. Vol. 81. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web.[full citation needed] Retrieved May 26, 2011.
- Rutledge, Amelia A. "Robin McKinley's Deerskin: Challenging Narcissisms". Marvels and Tales: Journal of Fairy Tales Studies 15.2 (2001): 168–82. Reprint in CLR 127.
- Sackelman, Ellen R. "More Than Skin Deep: Robin McKinley's Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast". Women in Literature: Reading Through the Lens of Gender. Ed. Jerilyn Fisher and Ellen S. Silber. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2003. 32–34. Reprint in CLR 127.
- Sanders, Lynn Moss. "Girls Who Do Things: The Protagonists of Robin McKinley's Fantasy Fiction". ALAN Review 24.1 (Fall 1996): 38–42. Reprint in CLR 127.
Children's Literature Review. Ed. Tom Burns. Vol. 127. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web.[full citation needed] Retrieved May 26, 2011.
- Robin McKinley (October 18, 2011). "the announcement you don't want to hear". Days in the Life. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Robin McKinley. "Are you married? Do you have any children?". FAQ. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Robin McKinley. "Do you have any pets?". FAQ. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Robin McKinley. "What do you do with your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?". FAQ. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Karrenbock, Marilyn H. (1986). "(Jennifer) (Carolyn) Robin McKinley". American Writers for Children Since 1960: Fiction. 52.
- "Robin McKinley". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Robin McKinley. "When are you going to write another Damar book?". FAQ. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- Robin McKinley. "Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech. 1985.". Archived from the original on June 5, 2013.
- "Award Winners & Nominees". World Fantasy Awards. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- "The Phoenix Award" (brochure). ChLA. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
- "Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Winners". Mythopoeic Society. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Official website
- Bibliography on SciFan
- Interview by Allen W. Wright (2002) at Interviews in Sherwood, about her novel The Outlaws of Sherwood (1988)
- Fansite with commentary and mailing list
- Robin McKinley at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Robin McKinley cover art, novel synopses, reviews
- Robin McKinley at Library of Congress Authorities, with 32 catalog records