Delia Sherman was born in Tokyo, Japan, and brought up in New York City. Much of her early life was spent at one end of a classroom or another, including Brown University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies in 1981, and Boston and Northeastern Universities, where she taught Freshman Composition and Fantasy as Literature until she realized she’d rather edit and write. Pursuing her love of history and travel, she sets her stories in many times and places.
Her first novel, Through a Brazen Mirror, was an Ace Fantasy Special. Her second novel, The Porcelain Dove, won the Mythopoeic Award. She entered the world of children’s literature with short stories and middle-grade novels Changeling and The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen.The Freedom Maze was honored with both the Norton and the Mythopoeic Awards, and The Evil Wizard Smallbone has appeared on a number of Year’s Best lists. She has also written adult Riverside novel The Fall of the Kings in collaboration with Ellen Kushner and participated in the collaborative online serial Whitehall with playwright Liz Duffy Adams. Young Woman in a Garden collects some of the many short stories that have appeared in anthologies and magazines.
Delia has served on the Motherboard of the James Tiptree Jr. Award and is a founding member of the Interstitial Arts Foundation (www.interstitialarts.org). She has served on juries for the Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Novel, the Tiptree Award, and the World Fantasy Award. In 1989, she was a nominee for the Crawford Award for Best New Writer.
As a freelance editor, Delia has always tried to get more of the kind of fantasy she likes out to readers. She was a contributing editor for Tor Books and has co-edited, with Ellen Kushner and Donald G. Keller, the fantasy anthology The Horns of Elfland, as well as Bordertown punk-elf anthology The Essential Bordertown with Terri Windling, followed by Interficitons: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing with Theodora Goss and Interfictions 2 with Christopher Barzak (SBP, 2009). More recently, she was Exectutive Editor of the arts webzine Interfictions Online. She regularly teaches SF and Fantasy writing at the Odyssey and Clarion fantastic fiction workshops and the Graduate Program in Children’s Literature at Hollins University, and has led workshops all over the world.
Delia lives with her wife and fellow author Ellen Kushner in a rambling apartment in New York City with a lot of books and far too many pieces of paper. She is a social rather than a solitary writer and can work anywhere, which is a good thing because she loves to travel, and if she couldn’t write on airplanes and in cafès, she’d never get anything done.
Photo by Augusten Burroughs.
Photo by Beth Gwinn.