This is a woman after my own heart (truly). In fact I grew up reading her books, starting with And the People Could Fly and moving on quickly to classics like M. C. Higgins the Great and Justice and Her Brothers.
Like Samuel Delany, Virginia Hamilton was a prolific writer. Zeely, her first novel about two children who encounter a Watusi queen on their uncle’s farm, was published in 1967. During her life time, she would publish more than 40 books in various genres for the children, middle grade, and Y. A. audiences. She received numerous honors for her writing throughout her career, including the Coretta Scott King Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and a MacArthur Genius Grant (impressive).
Though her work ranged in theme and content, many of her books have a decidedly speculative bend to them. In the Justice Trilogy, for instance, a girl, Justice, and her twin brothers–all of whom have strange powers–are thrust a million years into the future into a desolate, post-apocalyptic world ruled by a being called Mal. She wrote about everything from African goddesses (The Adventures of Pretty Pearl) to aliens (Willie Bea and the Time the Martians Landed).
For more information about Virginia Hamilton, check out her website.*
*In the next few days, I will be going through old entries and adding materials for further reading.