Charles de Lint

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Charles de Lint
Born (1951-12-22) December 22, 1951 (age 67)
Bussum, Netherlands
Pen name Samuel M. Key
Occupation Author
Nationality Canadian
Period 1983–present
Genre Fantasy, horror, Mythic fiction, Magical realism, Urban fantasy
Spouse MaryAnn Harris (m. 1980)

Charles de Lint[1][2][3] (born December 22, 1951) is a Canadian writer of Dutch origins. He is married to—and plays music with—MaryAnn Harris.

Primarily a writer of fantasy fiction, he has written widely in the subgenres of urban fantasy, contemporary magical realism, and mythic fiction.[4] Along with writers like Terri Windling, Emma Bull, and John Crowley, de Lint in the 1980s pioneered and popularized the genre of urban fantasy. He writes novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, and lyrics. His most famous works include:[5] The Newford series of books (Dreams Underfoot, Widdershins, The Blue Girl, The Onion Girl, Moonlight and Vines, Someplace to be Flying etc.), as well as Moonheart, The Mystery of Grace, The Painted Boy and A Circle of Cats (children's book illustrated by Charles Vess). His distinctive style of fantasy draws upon local American folklore and European folklore; De Lint was influenced by many writers in the areas of mythology, folklore, and science fiction, including[1] J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord Dunsany, William Morris, Mervyn Peake, James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison etc. Some of his mythic fiction poetry can be found online on the Endicott Studio website.[6]

As an essayist/critic/folklorist he writes book reviews for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, has judged several literary awards, and has been a writer-in-residence for two public libraries.

Personal life

Charles de Lint was born in 1951 in Bussum, the Netherlands, and his family emigrated to Canada when he was four months old. He grew up in Canada, as well as overseas, but has lived in Ottawa since he was eleven.

In 1974 he met MaryAnn Harris,[7][8] and they married in 1980. They now live in Ottawa. Harris is first editor of de Lint's fiction and also his business manager.[9]


In his late twenties to early thirties, de Lint worked in a record store and played with a Celtic band on the weekends.[10]


Charles de Lint started writing in 1983 and has been a full-time writer ever since, publishing around forty books between 1984 and 1997, and 71 books (excluding foreign editions and reprints), in total, thus gaining a reputation as a master in his field.

He published three horror novels under the pseudonym Samuel M. Key[10] which have subsequently been reprinted by Orb Books as by Charles de Lint. He has also published a children's book, A Circle of Cats, illustrated by artist Charles Vess.[11]

Style and settings

His genre, that of contemporary fantasy, which combines the real world with the "otherworld", allows the co-existence of the natural and the supernatural. This has been called a metaphor for the lack of indigenous folklore in most of multi-cultural Canada living side-by-side with the living oral traditions of the Native Americans.[12] De Lint, however, draws upon not only North American Aboriginal culture, but also the folklore of other cultures. For example, his novel, Moonheart, uses elements of both Native American and Welsh folklore.[12]

Many of his early books are set in Ottawa, while others (1990–2009) have centered around his fictional North American city of Newford,[10] inspired by de Lint's favourite aspects of various North American cities. A regular cast of characters make reappearances in many different books. More recently, de Lint published an adult novel, The Mystery of Grace (Tor 2009), set in his fictional Southwestern US town, Santa de Vado Viejo, as was his most recent young adult novel, The Painted Boy (Viking 2010).


de Lint has received many awards, including the 2000 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection for Moonlight and Vines, the Ontario Library Association's White Pine Award, as well as the Great Lakes Great Books Award for his young adult novel The Blue Girl (Viking, 2004). His novel Widdershins (Tor, 2006) won first place, Editors' Picks: Top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2006. In 1988 he won Canadian SF/Fantasy Award, the Casper, now known as the Aurora for his novel Jack, the Giant-killer (Ace 1987).[13] His 1984 urban fantasy novel, Moonheart, was a best-selling trade paperback for Tor's Orb line. It has been described as a thriller, detective mystery, and otherworld mythic fantasy all in one.[12]

Other literary work

In addition to being the author of numerous novels and short stories, de Lint is also a poet, folklorist, and critic. His poetry can be found online in the Endicott Studio Journal of Mythic Arts. He has taught creative writing workshops in Canada and the United States, and was writer‑in‑residence for two public libraries in Ottawa. He has also written original songs; his main instruments are flute, fiddle, whistles, vocals and guitar. In 2011, de Lint released his first CD, Old Blue Truck[13]

de Lint has also been a judge for the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award and the Bram Stoker Award. Furthermore, he has taught creative writing workshops in Canada and the United States, and served as writer-in-residence for two public libraries in Ottawa.

Music and art

de Lint plays folk, Irish and Celtic music with his wife MaryAnn; at one time playing at a local pub, and most recently doing concerts at FaerieWorlds and FaerieCon West in Seattle. He plays multiple instruments and sings and writes his own songs. In 2011 De Lint released his first album, Old Blue Truck,[14] which was released alongside his wife MaryAnn Harris's album, Crow Girls [15] in which he also contributes.

Fan and convention activity

A fan message board was created and named in his honor: de Lintiad, Charles de Lint, MoonHeart.[16]

Among dozens of public appearances, on October 9, 2007, de Lint was one of the guests who appeared as part of the Bolen Books Fall Series (with Jack Whyte (Oct. 13), Will Ferguson (Oct. 16) and James Barber (Oct. 20). Bolen Books was awarded the 2007 Libris Award for Bookseller of the Year. Co-ordinator Robert Wiersema said this of him: "He's a classic storyteller with a tremendously broad appeal. Readers who don't know him would, I think, be surprised at how much they would like his work."[17]



  • De Lint, Charles (1984). The riddle of the Wren. New York: Ace Fantasy Books.
  • — (1984). Moonheart : a romance. New York: Fantasy Books.
  • — (1985). The harp of the Grey Rose. Norfolk, Va.: Donning.
  • — (1985). Mulengro : a Romany tale.
  • — (1986). Yarrow.
  • Jack, the Giant Killer (1987) (re-published in Jack of Kinrowan)
  • Greenmantle (1988)
  • Wolf Moon (1988)
  • Svaha (1989)
  • The Valley of Thunder (Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon, Vol. 3, Dungeon series) (1989)
  • The Hidden City (Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon, Vol. 5) (1990)
  • Ghostwood (1990) (re-published in Spiritwalk)
  • Drink Down the Moon (1990) (re-published in Jack of Kinrowan)
  • Angel of Darkness (first published under the pseudonym Samuel M. Key) (1990)
  • The Little Country (1991)—1992 World Fantasy award nominee
  • Into The Green (1993)
  • The Wild Wood (Brian Froud's Faerielands, Illustrated by Brian Froud) (1994)
  • Memory and Dream (1994)
  • Someplace to be Flying (1998)
  • The Road to Lisdoonvarna (2001)
  • The Blue Girl (2004)
  • The Mystery of Grace (2009)
  • Eyes Like Leaves (2009)
  • Under My Skin (2012)
  • The Wind in His Heart (2017)

Young adult novels

Some additional young adult novels are listed under their series name below.

  • Little (Grrl) Lost (2007)
  • The Painted Boy (2010)
  • The Cats of Tanglewood Forest (illustrated by Charles Vess) (2013)
  • Seven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale (illustrated by Charles Vess) (2002)



"Laughter in the Leaves" (1984)

  • Ghosts of Wind and Shadow (1991)
  • Refinerytown (2003)
  • This Moment (2005)
  • Make A Joyful Noise (2006)
  • Old Man Crow (2007)
  • Riding Shotgun (2007)
  • Yellow Dog (2008)

Short stories published in book form

  • Ascian in Rose (1987) (re-published in Spiritwalk)
  • Westlin Wind (1989) (re-published in Spiritwalk)
  • Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair (1991) (re-published in Dreams Underfoot)
  • Our Lady of the Harbour (1991) (re-published in Dreams Underfoot)
  • Paperjack (1991) (re-published in Dreams Underfoot)
  • Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood (1992) (re-published in Spiritwalk)
  • The Wishing Well (1993) (re-published in The Ivory and the Horn)
  • The Buffalo Man (1999) (re-published in Tapping the Dream Tree)


  • De Grijze Roos ("The Grey Rose") (1983)
  • Hedgework and Guessery (1991)
  • Spiritwalk (1992)
  • Dreams Underfoot (1993)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (1995)
  • Jack of Kinrowan (1995)
  • Moonlight and Vines (1999)
  • The Newford Stories (1999) (contains the stories from Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory and the Horn, and Moonlight and Vines)
  • Triskell Tales (2000)
  • Waifs and Strays (2002)
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (2002)
  • A Handful of Coppers (Collected Early Stories, Vol.1: Heroic Fantasy) (2003)
  • Quicksilver & Shadow (Collected Early Stories, Vol.2) (2004)
  • The Hour Before Dawn (2005)
  • Triskell Tales 2 (2006)
  • What the Mouse Found (2008)
  • Woods and Waters Wild (2009)
  • Muse and Reverie (2009)
  • The Very Best of Charles de Lint (2010, Tachyon Publications)

The Newford series

  • The Dreaming Place (young adult, illustrated by Brian Froud) (1990)
  • From a Whisper to a Scream (first published under the pseudonym Samuel M. Key) (1992)
  • Dreams Underfoot (1993)
  • I'll Be Watching You (first published under the pseudonym Samuel M. Key) (1994)
  • Memory and Dream (1994)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (1995)
  • Trader (1997)—1998 World Fantasy Award nominee
  • Someplace to Be Flying (1998)—1999 World Fantasy Award nominee
  • Moonlight and Vines (1999)
  • The Newford Stories (1999) (compiles Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory and the Horn, and Moonlight and Vines)
  • Forests of the Heart (2000)—2000 Nebula Award nominee
  • The Onion Girl (2001)—2002 World Fantasy Award nominee
  • Seven Wild Sisters (novella illustrated by Charles Vess) (2002)—2003 World Fantasy Award nominee
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (2002)
  • Spirits in the Wires (2003)
  • A Circle of Cats (2003) (written as a children's book)
  • Medicine Road (illustrated by Charles Vess, Tachyon Publications) (2004)
  • The Blue Girl (young adult) (2004)
  • The Hour Before Dawn (2005)
  • Widdershins (2006)
  • Promises to Keep (2007, Tachyon Publications)
  • Old Man Crow (2007)
  • Dingo (young adult) (2008)
  • Muse and Reverie (2009)

Short stories

De Lint also scripted several comic books for Barry Blair's Aircel Publishing in the mid-1980s.

His short story, "The Sacred Fire" was made into a short film by Peter Billingsley and Robert Meyer Burnett in 1994.[18] Originally set on and near the campus of Butler University, the setting was changed to Beverly Hills for the film. It was also adapted as an episode of The Hunger in January 2000.

Review columns

De Lint writes a regular review column called "Books to Look For" for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.[19]

Date Review article Work(s) reviewed
2000 "Books to Look For". F&SF. 98 (6): 37–40. Jun 2000.
  • Brenchley, Chaz (1999). Shelter. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Koontz, Dean (1999). False memory. Bantam.
  • Stephenson, Neal (1999). In the beginning ... was the command line. Avon.
2000 "Books to Look For". F&SF. 99 (1): 27–31. Jul 2000.
2000 "Books to Look For". F&SF. 99 (2): 22–25. Aug 2000.
  • King, Stephen (2000). Riding the bullet. Scribner/Philtrum Press.
  • Willis, Connie (1999). Miracle and other Christmas stories. Bantam Spectra.
  • Garcia, Eric (2000). Anonymous Rex. Villard.
2000 "Books to Look For". F&SF. 99 (4): 37–43. Oct–Nov 2000.
  • Harris, Joanne (2000). Blackberry wine. Avon Books.
  • Wilson, F. Paul (2000). Conspiracies. Forge Books.
  • Kay, Guy Gavriel (2000). Lord of Emperors. HarperPrism.
  • Haldeman, Joe (2000). Forever free. Ace.
  • Frank, Jane and Howard (1999). The Frank collection. Paper Tiger.
  • Yaron, Dorit, ed. (2000). Possible futures. The Art Gallery.
2008 "Books to Look For". F&SF. 115 (3): 44–47. Sep 2008.
  • Sagan, Nick; Mark Frary & Andy Walker (2008). You call this the future?. Chicago Review Press.
  • Moore, Terry (2008). Echo. Abstract Studio.
  • Keyes, Greg (2008). The born queen. Del Rey.


  • Crow Girls[15] (2011)
  • Old Blue Truck[14] (2011)
  • The Loon's Lament—digital single (2011)[20]


  1. ^ a b Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: About Me". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: Biography". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: Music". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "Mythic Reading Lists". Mythic Reading Lists. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint Bibliography: Novels". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  6. ^ "JoMA Archives: Poetry". JoMA Archives: Poetry. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "MaryAnn Harris". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Meeting". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "MaryAnn Harris". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c John Robert Colombo "de Lint, Charles" The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Eugene Benson and William Toye. Oxford University Press 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. York University. October 25, 2011 <>
  11. ^ Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: A Circle of Cats (2003) Description". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Steven, Lawrence. "Welwyn Wilton Katz and Charles de Lint: New Fantasy as a Canadian Post-colonial Genre." Worlds of Wonder: Readings in Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Ed. Jean-François Leroux and Camille R. La Bossière. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2004. 57–72. Print.
  13. ^ a b Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: Music - Old Blue Truck". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: Music - Crow Girls EP by MaryAnn Harris". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "deLintiad - Runboard". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Victoria News, Authors tell tales in person Archived July 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "The Sacred Fire (1994)". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  19. ^ Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Fantasy and Science Fiction Departments: Books To Look For — Charles de Lint". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  20. ^ Webmaster, Rodger Turner,. "Charles de Lint: Music - The Loon's Lament—Digital Single". Retrieved May 23, 2017.

External links

  • Charles de Lint
  • Charles de Lint at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • At OFearna's site
  • Year’s Best 2012: Charles de Lint on "A Tangle of Green Men"
  • Locus Online: Charles de Lint interview excerpts (issue 6, June 2003)
  • Interview with Charles de Lint ( Challenging Destiny Number 9, 2000)
  • Kim Antieau: Interview with Charles de Lint (April 28, 2008)
  • Charles de Lint – SF Signal (2010)
  • Bookslut: An Interview with Charles de Lint (June 2006)
  • Charles de Lint – Online Radio Interview with the Author (December 2009)
  • Charles de Lint: Interview by NerdHelm (2011)
  • Fantasy, Rockabilly & Grace: An Interview with Genre Master Charles De Lint (March 2009)
  • Green Man's Charles de Lint Edition
  • Someplace to Be Flying: An Interview with Charles de Lint by Michael McCarty
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