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.”
New this week: Flings by Justin Taylor; We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas; The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar; Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark; The Undertaking by Audrey Magee; Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher; and a new translation of a French children’s book by Lydia Davis. For more on these and other new titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview.
Ursula K. Le Guin has died at the age of 88, according to the New York Times and Le Guin’s family. The prolific science fiction and fantasy writer — best known for her Earthsea series and The Left Hand of Darkness — explored themes like politics, gender, religion, and environmentalism. However, Le Guin wrote across genre and published over 20 novels, 100 short stories, 7 essay collections, 13 children’s books, 5 volumes of translation, and a writer’s guide. No stranger to awards, Le Guin most recently won the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Related Work for Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016. From our archives: The Millions interview with Le Guin from 2013.
This Tuesday marked the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, commemorating the world’s first computer programmer (who also happened to be Lord Byron’s daughter). Sydney Padua has published a graphic novel about Lovelace and Charles Babbage, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer. Check out scenes from the story and read more about Lovelace at Brain Pickings.
“The broad expansion of digital journalism has led to a growing overlap in the work and roles of newspapers, digital-only news sites, and magazines.” The Pulitzer Prize Board announced yesterday that both print and online magazines will be eligible for the 2017 journalism prizes. This doesn’t make up for 2012, but it’s an improvement.
If we were to buy ourselves a gift this year, it would be Penguin’s “One Hundred Book Covers in One Box” postcard set.