Andre Norton considers herself an old-fashioned storyteller. With almost two hundred books to her credit, she is also one of the most prolific and popular authors in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Because many of her books feature young protagonists who face a coming of age, her novels are often classified as young adult, but they also appeal to adults.
The Grand Dame of Sf and Fantasy was born Alice Mary Norton on February 17, 1912 in Cleveland, Ohio. As with many writers, books were part of her life from early on. In 1930, she began college to become a history teacher, but the onset of the Great Depression forced her to leave full-time education. While she worked for the Cleveland Public Library system, she continued to take evening classes in writing and journalism. Her first novel, The Prince Commands was published in 1934. She used the name Andre because at the time a masculine name would sell better in genre fiction. During the eighteen years she spent working for the library, she published eight more novels and 2 short stories.
In 1941, she briefly left her library job to run Mystery House, a bookstore and lending library in Maryland. Although the business was a failure, it was also during this time that she worked for the Library of Congress on a special project about alien citizenship. When she finally left the Cleveland library, she became a reader for Gnome Press. The flexibility of this new position afforded her much more time to pursue her writing. In 1958, she left Gnome Press to write full-time. Currently Ms Norton lives in Tennesee. In February 2005, she was admitted to a hopital for pnuemonia just before her 93rd birthday. Andre Norton died March 17, 2005 of congestive heart failure.
Ms Norton was the first woman to receive both the Gandolf Grand Master Award (1977) and the Nebula Grand Master Award (1984). Recently, the SFWA announced a new award for Young Adult Fiction in her Honor: The Andre Norton Award. One of her most popular series is the Witch World Series. Here is a partial listing of the novels set in that world:
Chronicles of Witch World
The Gates to Witch World: A collection of the first three books, Witch World (1963), Web of the Witch World (1964), and Year of the Unicorn (1965)
Lost Lands of Witch World: A collection of the fourth through sixth books, Three Against the Witch World (1965), Warlock of the Witch World (1967) , and Sorceress of the Witch World (1968)
Ciara's Song (1998)
The Duke's Ballad (2005)
Secrets of the Witch World
The Key of Keplian(1995)
The Warding of Witch World (1998)
The Knight the Harp and the Maiden(1999)
Witch World: The Turning
Storms of Victory (1995)
Flight of Vengeance (1994)
On Wings of Magic (1995)