Jane Yolen

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Jane Yolen in 2011

Jane Yolen (born February 11, 1939) is an American author and editor of almost 300 books. These include folklore, fantasy, science fiction, and children's books.



Short fiction

Page numbers from the mass market edition, published by Ace Books; ISBN 0-441-16622-9
See Jane Yolen's Internet Science Fiction Database page for original publication details
  • Fifteen years can be a long or a short time, depending upon whether one is immortal or not.
    • The Thirteenth Fey (p. 39)
  • Madness also makes folks uneasy; they fear contagion.
    • The Tree’s Wife (p. 78)
  • For what was art, she thought, but the heart and soul made visible.
    • The Pot Child (p. 110)
  • There is no liar like the one who lies to himself. He has a fool indeed for an audience.
    • The Bull & the Crowth (p. 122)
Page numbers from the hardcover edition, published by Harcourt Brace & Company; ISBN 0-15-209902-6
See Jane Yolen's Internet Science Fiction Database page for original publication details
  • Princesses did not make scenes. One needed to be a queen to do that.
    • Unicorn Tapestry (p. 15)
  • “No, you cannot…must not…shall not…may not…” to everything that seemed even the slightest bit interesting or exciting or dangerous.
    So Waverly did what every child of ten does. He did it all anyway.
    • The Lady’s Garden (p. 38)
Page number from the trade paperback edition, published by Harcourt Brace & Company; ISBN 0-15-201657-0
See Jane Yolen's Internet Science Fiction Database page for original publication details
  • Looking backward was an old man’s drug.
    • The Sword and the Stone (p. 91)
  • Know, my son, that the enemy will always be with you. He will be in the shadow of your dreams and in your living flesh, for he is the other part of yourself.
    • p. 143
  • Overhead the swallows dipped down to catch bugs rising from the ground. Then they soared back up beyond the barracks. Hannah watched them for a moment, scarcely breathing. It was as if all nature ignored what went on in the camp. There were brilliant sunsets and soft breezes. Around the commandant’s house, bright flowers were teased by the wind. Once she’d seen a fox cross the meadow to disappear into the forest.
    • p. 154

All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published in November 1993 by Tor ISBN 0-812-55862-6

  • She filled the pot, got out a new filter, threw the old one onto the garbage, and counted out five tablespoons of Columbian Supreme. Then she waited while the magic of modern invention turned tap water into a hot dark-brown caffeine-powered drink. It was better than any Biblical miracle and risked no beliefs.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 43)
  • “I’ll drive. You navigate.” He grinned. “I judge people by how well they read maps.”
    • Chapter 12 (p. 65)
  • Time may heal wounds, but it does not erase the scars.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 72)
  • “Will you write the story?”
    “If there is one.”
    “Happy ending or no?” He was serious.
    She attempted a smile. “Fairy tales always have a happy ending.”
    He leaned back in his chair. “That depends.”
    “On what?”
    “On whether you are Rumplestiltskin or the Queen.”
    • Chapter 16 (p. 91)
  • She hated to lie but she hated arguments even more.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 93)
  • It is not crazy to want to know the past. It is only crazy to live there, like so many of the aristocracy.
    • Chapter 24 (p. 131)
  • Wars do not make heroes of everyone.
    • Chapter 25 (p. 146)
  • Wars may make heroes of men, but not all the time.
    • Chapter 25 (p. 146)
  • “We are all sleeping princesses some time. But it is better to be fully awake, don’t you think?”...“Americans do not want to be awake?”
    “Oh,” Becca said, “we like the truth all right. When it’s tidy.”
    “Truth is never tidy. Only fairy tales.”
    • Chapter 32 (p. 196; ellipsis represents elision of a brief narrative section)

All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published in 1999 by Harcourt, Inc. ISBN 0-15-202268-6
Co-written with Bruce Coville
Italics as in the book

  • “Dad, everyone knows Beelson is a nutcase! You should hear the things they say about him in school.”
    My father looked at me sadly. “I thought you didn’t believe in basing your life on what everyone else says, Mr. Nonconformist.”
    “OK, skip what everyone else says. I think he’s nuts.”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 16)
  • But when I asked Mom, she shrugged and looked up at the sky. She had given up looking at me when we talked.
    “Reverend Beelson told us God would provide,” she said, as if reading that in the clouds. “And he does not lie.” It wasn’t clear if she meant Reverend Beelson or God.
    • Chapter 9 (pp. 51-52)
  • I actually said a little prayer of my own then, my first since we had arrived: Please, God—get me out of this nuthouse!
    • Chapter 10 (p. 66)
  • But you know how it is: As soon as you decide to forget something, your brain comes to the conclusion that it’s the most fascinating thing in the world.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 74)
  • We had more church after supper, with a long sermon from Reverend Beelson. He talked about wars and earthquakes and floods as signs that the End was coming. Which made me wonder if he had somehow managed to not notice that wars, earthquakes, and floods have been going on since the beginning of history.
    But I didn’t say anything.
    It wasn’t worth the effort.
    • Chapter 14 (p. 86)
  • The thing about signs from God is that you can never be sure.
    In the morning, going to the Porta Potti, I saw a deer. There was also a dead pigeon being a smorgas-bird for crows near the perimeter when I went with a message for an Angel. And the shed skin of some small snake that Grahame had collected.
    If those were signs, what did they mean?
    God loved me?
    God hated me?
    God didn’t care?…
    I saw more signs than I can remember.
    The moon was still shining like a pale penny at noon.
    There was an eagle wheeling overhead at four.
    A pair of bluejays squabbled in a fir tree when I came out of the Place of Eating after dinner.
    God was saying yes?
    God was saying no?
    God wasn’t speaking at all?
    • Chapter 15 (pp. 93-94; ellipsis represents the elision of one paragraph of description for the sake of continuity)
  • I took a deep breath. God…I prayed.
    And then I realize that I had nothing more to say to him.
    Nothing at all.
    • Chapter 27 (p. 148)
  • But I scolded myself, That’s magical thinking, Marina. Consider instead what’s real.
    • Chapter 50 (p. 253)
  • “Did we do wrong in believing, Marina?” Mom asked suddenly.
    “Never in believing, Mom,” I said. “Just in what we believed.”
    • Chapter 50 (p. 256)
  • I’m not saying it was all for the best. (That’s one of the great stupid phrases of all time, imho.)
    • No chapter number (p. 264)
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