“World-renowned purveyor of prose,” reads the caption on Anne Ursu’s eccentric piece of the Web, a site wrapped in the trappings of the theatrical. The offbeat and quirkily capitalized handbill at AnneUrsu.com, looking as if it were beamed onto the Internet directly from an old playhouse, puts together, as best as it can, the facts of Anne Ursu.
Born in Minneapolis, Ursu is a graduate of Brown University, and well-known as a writer for grown-ups. She’s worked for the City Pages, written for Glamour and Salon.com, and she has two books out already: Spilling Clarence and The Disapparation of James. But with the release of The Shadow Thieves, the first in a planned series of children’s novels, Ursu is branching out.
The Shadow Thieves, heavy on Greek mythology, follows 13-year-old Charlotte and her cousin Zee as they work against a demigod fixated on world domination. Two more books will follow, The Siren Song in the summer of 2007, and The Promethean Flame in the fall of 2008.
Ursu is well-known among her adult fans for mixing irony and humor with serious matters, and the scores of positive reviews for The Shadow Thieves indicate she has successfully adapted that skill for younger readers.