First–my apologies for not checking my facts more carefully regarding the plot of Pride and Prejudice. I do definitely agree with you about where Keeping the Castle fits in your taxonomy. In fact, at the risk of putting my foot into it again, I could say that I think Keeping the Castle also owes something to Emma (I’m thinking here of Althea’s matchmaking tendencies). Continue reading
Well, this is a pretty huge topic, so I want to try to get it a little under control by creating a tenative taxonomy of ways of adapting source material:
1) The most basic way of adapting a classic story is what I’d call a remake. The newer work is essentially trying to recapture the older story more or less beat-for-beat, with some twists, and often a modern (or more modern) seeting. This happens most often in movies, but you do get it in books, and I think The Humming Room is a good example of this. Continue reading
I keep having the (unintentional) experience of reading two (or more) books within a few days of one another which then become linked in my mind in some way.
A recent example: I read Ellen Potter’s middle-grade novel, The Humming Room and Patrice Kindl’s YA novel, Keeping the Castle. Each of these novels is based on a classic work of literature: The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, in the first case, and Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, in the second. Continue reading
Wow – that is a lot to think about. Let me start with some places where we really agree. On the question of “speculation”: in the debate you referred to, I came firmly down on the side of Aronson (as did you), agreeing with him that “speculation” as he was using it didn’t mean random guesses, but educated theories, appropriately explained to the reader. Unfortunately, I agree with you that, especially in the case of Hoover’s ancestry, Aronson seems to have fallen more on the side of guess work than theory. In a work for children and teens, I don’t think it’s fair play to include the counter-argument to a possibly specious claim only in a footnote. Continue reading
So a couple of weeks ago we talked about Steve Sheinkin’s book Bomb. And from the other reviews I’m reading, I think it’s pretty clear that we and a lot of other people see Bomb as an example of really terrific nonfiction writing for kids and teens. Sheinkin tells an important story, uses a combination of primary and secondary sources, peppers the text liberally with quotations from the participants, documents his sources fully, and wraps it all up in great writing that makes us care about the people and events and gives us something to think about (that last line!).
Then I read Marc Aronson’s new book, Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies. Important story: check. Combination of primary and secondary sources: check. Liberal quoting of participants: check. Documentation: check. Great writing: check. Gives us something to think about: check. Continue reading
I know you’ve already read this post, but in the spirit of our Australia Week, I thought I should link to my post on The Hub on Margo Lanagan. I mentioned last week that I was working on this post, examining all of Lanagan’s YA work. I’ve written three of these Completist posts now, and this one was in some ways the most challenging (mostly because so much of her work hasn’t made it across the ocean), but it was also the most satisfying for me, because I felt like I really started to get my head around what makes Lanagan such an amazing author.
You have any other Australian authors you want to highlight before we leave off this topic?