When we set out to see a film or TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s work, we usually expect a fair amount of bonnets, coy smiles, and men in cravats. For the Atlantic, Helen Lewis looks at more recent Austen adaptations that are turning those expectations on their heads: “These new adaptations make a simple case: Costume dramas are not about wallowing in nostalgia, and Austen was not writing straightforward romances. Sanditon, for example, has an ‘acerbic, screwball tone,’ according to its director, Olly Blackburn—in it, Austen was trying something new. ‘It’s like [Bob] Dylan going electric,’ he told me.”
To add to the awards lists, Believer has announced its editors’ shortlist for the Believer Book Award, which looks to acknowledge “the strongest and most underappreciated” novels of the year. The shortlist includes Danielle Dutton’s Sprawl; Kira Henehan’s Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles (reviewed for The Millions); James Hynes‘ Next, Grace Krilanovich’s The Orange Eats Creeps (reviewed for The Millions); and Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies (reviewed here).
“His books used to be ink on paper; now we have to squint through the cloud of the Ellroy Phenomenon.” And the James Ellroy Phenomenon looks like it will only continue: the author has announced plans for a second L.A. Quartet, the first of which, Perfidia, comes out next week.
“It makes you think you are just about to write, for once, something brilliant.” Everyone knows that Moleskines don’t really affect your writing, but they nevertheless represent a kind of literary standard. As we step into the future and doodling goes digital, will products like electronic writing tablets put the leather-bound versions out of business? Somewhere Hemingway is turning in his grave.