Has the new Oz movie inspired you to read the originals? There’s more to this story than an MGM musical can cover – dozens of books in fact. Or maybe you even dream of writing up your own world of words to top Baum, Lucas or Heinlein? Kimberly Turner, a wicked linguist, reviews the rich Literary History of Oz and takes note of the long gestation period for the Oz milieu and the many stories that eventually, after trial and error, found their way into readers’ minds and hearts:
As an inspirational aside to struggling writers who don’t happen to be 22-year-old wunderkind: Note that Baum—who ultimately gave us one of the most beloved stories of all time—wrote his first book (let’s not count the instructional volume on chicken rearing he put out when he was 30), at the age of forty-one. This after years spent raising fancy chickens, starting a poultry journal, running a variety store, selling fireworks, and editing a magazine about department store window displays. The first of his fourteen Oz books was published when he was 44. Baum wrote a total of fifty-five novels (fourteen Oz-related and the rest less-successful fantasy and fairy tales), more than eighty short stories (including six Little Wizard Stories Of Oz for younger readers), and an untold number of stage plays, poems, and odd tomes about stamp dealing, poultry, and decorating windows. It’s never too late to chase the dream.
Read the rest of the fascinating Literary History of Oz by Kimberly Turner.