Robin McKinley


Beauty (1978)
Blue Sword (1982) (Newbery Honor)
Hero and the Crown (1984) (Newbery Award)
Outlaws of Sherwood (1988)
Deerskin (1993)
Rose Daughter (1997)
Spindle's End (2000)
Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits (with husband Peter Dickinson) (2002)
Sunshine (2003)
Dragonhaven (September 2007)

Door in the Hedge (short stories)
Imaginary Lands (collection she edited)
A Knot in the Grain (short stories)


Born: 16 November 1952; Warren, Ohio

Robin McKinley (visit website) was born in Ohio, but lived in California, New York, Japan as part of a military family. Always more comfortable with books than with people, she relied on books for company and wanted to be an author from a young age.
Robin majored in English at Bowdoin College in Maine and eventually settled there — until Peter Dickinson (visit website)came along.
She now lives in England with three whippets, rose bushes galore, and her author husband.
Probably best known for her rewrites of fairy tales, she also has a small series of books and stories that take place in the mythical land of Damar.

In her own words

"I grew up a military brat and an only child, and decided very early on that books were much more reliable friends than people. Over time I altered my views about people (which is to say I learnt to write letters) but I was into my thirties before it occurred to me not to keep moving on every year or two. I had settled down in a coastal village in Maine for life, as I thought, when Peter happened. One of us had to move, and it was obviously going to be me (I said): I was the one with all the practise.

Living in permanent exile is a whole new experience. England is home now in a way nowhere in the States has ever been; I’ve lived in this house, which has seen three generations of Peter’s family so far and is watching the fourth grow up, longer than I’ve lived anywhere. That doesn’t make me English. But I’m not American any more either. I’m something else.

It’s interesting, being something else. It also, perhaps, gives me a useful extra excuse for my constitutional waywardness.

When Peter and I aren’t writing (we write on either side of the same wall, so we can shout through the door at each other) we’re gardening—we have a big, crowded, old-fashioned English country garden—walking dogs, cooking, reading. I also run most mornings, early, before I go to my desk; it’s my best plotting time, except when I’m busy being ravished by the beauty of the sunrise or sinking to my ankles in Hampshire mud.

The changeover from years beginning ‘19’ to years beginning ‘20’ seems to have reminded me that life is short and I’d better be getting on with it. I’ve begun studying core shamanism, I’m learning English change ringing, and, as I write this, have just started fencing lessons. Fortunately the fencing seems to use an entirely different set of muscles than bell-ringing. My bell-ringing teacher keeps telling me to let the bell do the work, but I keep forgetting. At least fencing is supposed to make you sweat."

—Robin McKinley

Offsite Links

Official Website

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.