"Kushner and Sherman don't spin fables or knit fancies: they are world-forgers, working in a language of iron and air."
— Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked.            
 
 
Delia
Sherman

writer and editor
Boston, Massachusetts
 Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman
Ellen
Kushner

writer and radio host
Boston, Massachusetts
 

Although mythic fiction readers know Ellen Kushner best as an award-winning novelist, in the wider world she is better known as the host of Sound & Spirit, a weekly program broadcast nationally on public radio. Sound & Spirit is a musical exploration of world music, myth, spirituality, and the human experience. Ellen is the host, writer, and co-producer of this series (called "the very best program of its kind, ever" by Bill Moyers in The New York Times), which is Interstitial broadcasting at its finest: mixing music and ideas from a variety of disciplines, and from artists all around the world.

Born in Washington D.C., Ellen was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and spent some of her childhood in France. She attended Bryn Mawr College and graduated from Barnard College. She lived in New York City for many years, where she was an editor of fantasy fiction (at Ace Books/Grosset & Dunlap and Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster) as well as a book-reviewer, copywriter, literary scout, artist's representative, and author of series books for children. Her first adult novel, Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners—an elegant, subversive work of Interstitial fiction in the Dorothy Dunnett tradition—was published in 1987. She followed this up with Thomas the Rhymer in 1990. Based on a Scottish folk ballad, this sensuous novel won both the Mythopoeic and World Fantasy Awards. Her most recent work is The Fall of the Kings, written with her partner Delia Sherman. Ellen is also the author of numerous works of short fiction and poetry published in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror annual collections, the four volumes of the Borderland series, Bending the Landscape, and other anthologies and magazines. Her work has been translated into French, Japanese, Russian, German, Spanish, Catalan, and Latvian. She has edited two anthologies of magical fiction, Basilisk and The Horns of Elfland; and has taught writing at the Clarion and Odyssey workshops.

In 1987, Ellen left New York and joined WGBH-FM radio in Boston as their "Night Air" host, entertaining overnight listeners with an eclectic blend of classical, folk, world, and new music. She achieved a national presence on public radio in 1989 as the host of American Public Radio's Nakamichi International Music Series. She also produced three award-winning Jewish Holiday specials—Festival of Liberation: the Passover Story in World Music; The Door is Open: a Jewish High Holiday Meditation; and Beyond 1492—as well as other radio productions for APR (since renamed Public Radio International). In 1996, PRI created the Sound & Spirit program to showcase Ellen's unique blend of talents. The series has won multiple awards and a devoted following all across the country. Her work on Sound & Spirit led to the creation of two CDs: Welcoming Children into the World and The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer "Nutcracker" for Chanukah, both available from Rykodisc.

In addition to writing and radio work, Ellen loves to sing and cook, and prides herself on learning how to dance late in life. She travels a great deal and has a particular affection for the French countryside.

Delia Sherman was born in Tokyo, Japan, and brought up in Manhattan. She has spent much of her life at one end of a classroom or the other—at Brown University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies in 1981, and at Boston University and Northeastern, where she taught Freshman Composition and Fantasy as Literature. Her first novel, Through a Brazen Mirror, was published in 1989. This gender-bending Interstitial work, based on an English folk ballad, put Delia on the short-list for the Campbell Award for best new writer of the year. She followed this up with a second Interstitial novel, The Porcelain Dove—a magical story based on French fairy tales, published as mainstream historical fiction. Called "fantastic in every sense of the word" by Publisher's Weekly, The Porcelain Dove won the Mythopoeic Award for Best Novel of 1993. Her most recent novel is The Fall of the Kings, written with her partner, Ellen Kushner. Delia's short fiction has appeared in Xanadu II, The Armless Maiden, Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, Sirens, A Wolf at the Door, The Greenman, and F&SF magazine, as well as several volumes of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. She has completed a novel for young readers, The Freedom Maze, set in Louisiana, and is at work on a new Y.A. novel set in New York. She is also at work on a series of adult historical-fantasy novels set in France.

In addition to writing, Delia is a Contributing Editor for Tor Books in New York City, working with such authors as Caroline Stevermer, Pamela Dean, Laurie J. Marks, and Rick Bowes. She co-edited two anthologies (The Horns of Elfland and The Essential Bordertown), has taught writing at Odyssey and Clarion, twice served as a judge for the Crawford Award, and spent several years on the Motherboard of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for fiction exploring gender issues. Delia's interests include music of all sorts, visual art in many forms, theater, singing, and interior design. She prefers cafés to home for writing (they bring you things to eat and the phone's never for you), and traveling to staying put.

Delia and Ellen share a house in Boston, an apartment in Paris, and spend a fair amount of time in New York and on the road. They are the founders of the Interstitial Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization for cross-genre arts. They are also the founders of Endicott West, an arts retreat in Tucson, Arizona, in partnership with Terri Windling and the Endicott Studio.

For more information on Ellen's work, visit her Ellen Kushner and Sound & Spirit websites. More information about Delia can be found here

 
 
 "Current cant equates fantasy with escapism, and current fashion would have it that fantasy is both easy to read and to write. It isn't. When it is done honestly, by a skillful writer, fantasy takes us far enough beyond our daily perceptions to open us to the essential realities beneath it. This is the true goal of all art."
 — Ellen Kushner
 
 

 

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Photograph of Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, in Amsterdam © Kees Von Boven
Copyright © 1997-2005 by The Endicott Studio