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Charles de Lint: Biography
Charles de Lint Photo © Leslie Howle

Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint Photo © MaryAnn Harris

Charles de Lint Photo © Beth Gwinn

Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is the author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's books among the top 100.

De Lint is a poet, folklorist, artist, songwriter and performer. He has written critical essays, music reviews, opinion columns and entries to encyclopedias, and he's been the main book reviewer for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction since 1987. De Lint served as Writer-in-residence for two public libraries in Ottawa and has taught creative writing workshops for adults and children in Canada and the United States. He's been a judge for several prominent awards, including the Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon and Bram Stoker.

Born in the Netherlands in 1951, de Lint immigrated to Canada with his family as an infant. The family moved often during de Lint's childhood because of his father's job with an international surveying company, but by the time Charles was twelve—having lived in Western Canada, Turkey and Lebanon—they had settled in Lucerne, Quebec, not far from where he now resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

In 1980, de Lint married the love of his life, MaryAnn Harris, who works closely with him as his first editor, business manager and creative partner. They share their love and home with a cheery little dog named Johnny Cash.

Charles de Lint is best described as a romantic: a believer in compassion, hope and human potential. His skilled portrayal of character and settings has earned him a loyal readership and glowing praise from peers, reviewers and readers.

Charles de Lint writes like a magician. He draws out the strange inside our own world, weaving stories that feel more real than we are when we read them. He is, simply put, the best.
—Holly Black (bestselling author)

Charles de Lint is the modern master of urban fantasy. Folktale, myth, fairy tale, dreams, urban legend—all of it adds up to pure magic in de Lint's vivid, original world. No one does it better.
—Alice Hoffman (bestselling author)

To read de Lint is to fall under the spell of a master storyteller, to be reminded of the greatness of life, of the beauty and majesty lurking in shadows and empty doorways.
—Quill & Quire

His Newford books, which make up most of de Lint's body of work between 1993 and 2009, confirmed his reputation for bringing a vivid setting and repertory cast of characters to life on the page. Though not a consecutive series, the twenty-five standalone books set in (or connected to) Newford give readers a feeling of visiting a favourite city and seeing old friends.

More recently, his young adult Wildlings trilogy—Under My Skin, Over My Head, and Out of This World—came out from Penguin Canada and Triskell Press in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Under My Skin won 2013 Aurora Award. A novel for middle-grade readers, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, published by Little Brown in 2013, won the Sunburst Award, earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Quill & Quire, and was chosen by the New York Times Editors as one of the top six children's books for 2013. His most recent adult novel, The Mystery of Grace (2009), is a fascinating ghost story about love, passion and faith. It was a finalist for both the Sunburst and Evergreen awards.

De Lint is presently writing a new adult novel. His storytelling skills also shine in his original songs. He and MaryAnn (also a musician) recently released companion CDs of their original songs, samples of which can be heard on de Lint's website. A multi-instrumentalist, his main instruments are guitar, harmonica and vocals, while MaryAnn's are mandolin, guitar, vocals and percussion.

(Updated January 2015)

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