Noyes, Deborah 1965- (Deborah Noyes Wayshak)

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Noyes, Deborah 1965- (Deborah Noyes Wayshak)

Personal

Born September 13, 1965, in Carmel, CA; daughter of Peter (in the military and a police officer) and Valerie (in the service industry and a homemaker) Noyes; married Courtney Wayshak (a teacher); children: Clyde, Michaela. Ethnicity: "British Isles, mainly." Education: University of Massachusetts, B.A. (English), 1987; Vermont College, M.F.A. (writing), 1993. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Raised Catholic." Hobbies and other interests: Black-and-white photography and printmaking, nature and hiking, traveling.

Addresses

Home—Somerville, MA. Agent—Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management, 244 5th Ave., 11th Fl., New York, NY 10001. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, MA, zookeeper, 1990; Boston Review, Boston, managing editor, 1991-92; freelance writer, 1992—; Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA, copywriter, 1997-2000, editor, 2000—. Western New England College, Woburn, MA, adjunct lecturer, 1994-2002; Emerson College, Boston, adjunct lecturer, 2003—.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Best Book for Young Adults selection, American Library Association (ALA), Books for the Teen Age selection, New York Public Library, and Best Book for Children and Teens selection, Chicago Public Library, all for Gothic!; Notable Social Studies Trade Book, National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council, for Hana in the Time of the Tulips; Best Book for Young Adults selection, ALA, Books for the Teen Age selection, New York Public Library, and Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2006, all for One Kingdom; Best Book for Young Adults selection, ALA, for The Restless Dead; Best Children's Book of the Year selection, Bank Street College of Education, 2008, for Red Butterfly; honored among Boston Public Library's Literary Lights for Children, 2007.

Writings

FICTION

It's Vladimir!, illustrated by Christopher Mills, Marshall Cavendish (Tarrytown, NY), 2001.

(Editor) Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

Hana in the Time of the Tulips, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

Angel and Apostle, Unbridled Books (Denver, CO), 2005.

When I Met the Wolf Girls, illustrated by August Hall, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk out of China, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

(Editor) The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

The Ghosts of Kerfol, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2008.

Prudence and Moxie, illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2008.

OTHER

(And photographer) One Kingdom: Our Lives with Animals, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.

Encyclopedia of the End: Mysterious Death in Fact, Fancy, Folklore, and More, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2008.

(Photographer) Avis Harley, African Acrostics, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2009.

Contributor of short stories and reviews to periodicals, including Seventeen, Threepenny Review, Bloomsbury Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Stories, Chicago Tribune, Cicada, and Boston Sunday Globe.

Sidelights

Deborah Noyes, a writer, editor, and photographer, is the author of such award-winning titles as Hana in the Time of the Tulips and One Kingdom: Our Lives with Animals. She has also edited a pair of highly acclaimed anthologies, Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales and The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural. "I like strong texture and atmosphere in a story, and I'm drawn to history," Noyes commented on the Candlewick Press Web site. "The past plays on my imagination in a way the present and future don't. I also love fairy tales and fabulist tales; folklore, myths, and legends; odd natural history minutiae; and moody, intense supernatural stuff."

Noyes' first picture book, It's Vladimir!, focuses on an impatient young vampire who desperately wants to earn his bat wings. Vladimir's constant tantrums drive his family members from their castle, however, and he must turn to a host of forest creatures for support and advice. According to Booklist reviewer Marta Segal, "the [story's] moral is balanced by winning humor and the idea of wishes coming true." Set in seventeenth-century Holland and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, Noyes' Hana in the Time of the Tulips concerns a young girl whose father ignores her after he becomes caught up in the period's tulip craze. Here Noyes "tells an unusual story with appealing rhythm and rich, fanciful language," noted Gillian Engberg in a Booklist review of the picture book.

Based on actual events, When I Met the Wolf Girls describes the story of two feral children, Amala and Kamala, who are brought to live in an Indian orphanage by a missionary who hopes to civilize them. Examining themes of colonialism and religion, When I Met the Wolf Girls also explores "the notion of taming the wild, which permeates the story and infuses it with a sense of sadness," as Marianne Saccardi commented in School Library Journal. In the lushly illustrated Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk out of China, Noyes and illustrator Sophie Blackall offer a picture-book take on an ancient legend. As she prepares to leave her homeland to marry the ruler of Khotan, the emperor's daughter hides silkworms and mulberry seeds in her hair, hoping to retain pieces of her past life. "Noyes' graceful text includes allusions to nature and the shifting seasons in a style reminiscent of traditional Chinese poetry," Engberg stated.

Turning to older readers, Noyes has also penned Angel and Apostle, an adult historical novel of interest to teens, and The Ghosts of Kerfol, a collection of stories. The former reimagines Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter from the perspective of Pearl, Hester Prynne's daughter, and the story follows the impish sprite into adulthood. The author "tackles passion and Puritanism in a riveting historical tale with timeless overtones," wrote Library Journal reviewer Beth E. Andersen in a review of Angel and Apostle. The Ghosts of Kerfol, which contains five ghostly tales inspired by an Edith Wharton story, was praised as "beautiful and genuinely frightening," by a contributor in Kirkus Reviews.

In Gothic! Noyes collects ten stories by such acclaimed young-adult authors as Joan Aiken, Neil Gaiman, and M.T. Anderson. A companion volume, The Restless Dead, includes tales by Annette Curtis Klause, Kelly Link, and Holly Black. "As both a reader and an editor, I'm drawn to the place where popular/genre and literary intersect, and these writers, great stylists and masters of the weird, really delivered," Noyes stated in an online Cynsations interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith. "For me, anthologies are an excuse to invite a bunch of writers I admire out to play."

One Kingdom, a nonfiction work illustrated with photographs by Noyes, examines the relationships between animals and humans in myth, history, and science. A former zookeeper, Noyes raises a number of questions about society's treatment of animals, including the eth- ics of captivity. In the words of Horn Book critic Betty Carter, the author "inserts herself into the narrative as she becomes a partner in a freewheeling inquiry with the reader."

Noyes once remarked to SATA: "The poet Marianne Moore argued that good poetry should present ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them.’ This pretty much sums up my ideas about writing for kids. I love the interplay of the real and the fantastic, the way these worlds, for many of us, are constantly overlapping.

"I'm an avid student of the craft of writing, the particulars of language and imagery, and I try to think like a poet when I can, with my senses. But I'm always drawn back to the universal, too—the stuff of history, myth, and legend—the storyteller's toolbox. I love supernatural tales and fairy tales and never tire of watching them transmogrify, of listening as new voices reinvent them. Many of the projects I'm working on retell old tales or try to view history—whether seventeenth-century Holland, imperial China, or the American landscapes of the U.S. Civil War and the Great Depression—through a new or unusual lens. I also think a lot about character. Most of my stories, even the fanciful ones, are (for better or worse) less about what happens than about whom it happens to and why. Even my photos strive, however simply, for a raw emotional connection of some kind, though their subject is more often animal than human.

"Apart from family and friends, reading and writing have been the great gifts of my life. I'm so grateful for the chance to help pass those gifts along to kids."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 15, 2001, Marta Segal, review of It's Vladimir!, p. 401; October 15, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales, p. 404; November 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Hana in the Time of the Tulips, p. 498; October 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Angel and Apostle, p. 31; October 15, 2006, Ed Sullivan, review of One Kingdom: Our Lives with Animals, p. 38; March 15, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of When I Met the Wolf Girls, p. 47; May 15, 2007, Debbie Carton, review of The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural, p. 54; November 15, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk out of China, p. 50.

Horn Book, November-December, 2004, Lauren Adams, review of Gothic!, p. 714; September-October, 2006, Betty Carter, review of One Kingdom, p. 609; May-June, 2007, Elissa Gershowitz, review of When I Met the Wolf Girls, p. 270.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Gothic!, p. 871; September 15, 2004, review of Hana in the Time of the Tulips, p. 197; April 15, 2007, review of When I Met the Wolf Girls; August 1, 2007, review of The Restless Dead; October 1, 2007, review of Red Butterfly; July 15, 2008, review of The Ghosts of Kerfol.

Kliatt, January, 2007, Joseph DeMarco, review of Gothic!, p. 28.

Library Journal, October 15, 2005, Beth E. Andersen, review of Angel and Apostle, p. 47.

Publishers Weekly, November 22, 2004, review of Hana in the Time of the Tulips, p. 60; August 22, 2005, review of Angel and Apostle, p. 36; November 19, 2007, review of Red Butterfly, p. 56; July 21, 2008, review of The Ghosts of Kerfol, p. 161.

School Library Journal, October, 2001, Patti Gonzales, review of It's Vladimir!, p. 127; October, 2004, Kathy Krasniewicz, review of Hana in the Time of Tulips, p. 126; November, 2006, Janet S. Thompson, review of One Kingdom, p. 163; June, 2007, Marianne Saccardi, review of When I Met the Wolf Girls, p. 156; September, 2007, Anthony C. Doyle, review of The Restless Dead, p. 204; December, 2007, Margaret Bush, review of Red Butterfly, p. 140.

ONLINE

Candlewick Press Web site,http://www.candlewick.com/ (September 30, 2008), "Deborah Noyes."

Cynsations Web log,http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ (October 4, 2006), Cynthia Leitich Smith, interview with Noyes.

Deborah Noyes Home Page,http://www.deborahnoyes.com (September 30, 2008).

Deborah Noyes Web log,http://hauntedplaylist.blogspot.com/ (September 30, 2008).