A New Series on Literature and Film Adaptation

| By Elizabeth Ferguson |

In today’s rush to produce more and more content for the silver screen, there is no shortage of cinematic adaptations of literary works. This concept and process is not new, however—directors and screenwriters have long been retelling beloved classics in feature-film format. Take, for example, Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Dracula. Or François Truffaut’s take on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and James Whale’s version of Frankenstein. Even current works, such as the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, have found immense success in the film world. Books to Film: Cinematic Adaptations of Literary Works, a new annual series offered on Gale’s GVRL eBook platform, explores the vast world of film adaptation. Entries discuss basic plot summaries of featured books and films; examine critical reaction to each adaptation at the time of their respective releases; provide biographical information on authors, directors, and screenwriters; and explore the process by which the book is transformed into a film. Adaptations covered range “from the silent period (1895–1927) through to contemporary cinema, from studios major and minor as well as independents, from Hollywood and around the globe” as Editor in Chief Barry Keith Grant writes in his introduction to Volume 1. Literary works covered include fiction and nonfiction, canonical works and bestsellers, classic and contemporary works, and long and short writing.

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A Grown Woman’s Tribute to Little House on the Prairie

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

If any of you happened to use Google on February 10, you would have seen the customized home page for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday. Dead for 58 years, her name is still synonymous with Westward Expansion and the nineteenth century prairie. All these years later, her literature continues to have a life of its own. After all, few go through childhood without reading Little House on the Prairie.

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I loved the Little House books as a child (and now as an adult) and read them all several times. Her writing took me to another time and place, a place that I found fascinating, especially during a time when the game Oregon Trail was immensely popular on floppy disk.  And don’t forget the Little House TV series! When my parents and I traveled West on a two-week vacation, we stopped along the way at some of the places the Ingalls family stopped; we even saw the giant wagon ruts in Wyoming.

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True Confessions of a Jane Austen Fan Girl

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

From the moment I read Pride and Prejudice in high school, I was hooked. I love Jane Austen’s novels, particularly Pride and Prejudice, with Sense and Sensibility coming in a distant second. I have read P&P over 10 times, watched multiple mini-series and movie adaptations, joined the Jane Austen Society of North America, and, still, I just can’t get enough.

Recently, I went to a library book sale in my hometown, and was browsing the adult fiction section. My sister happened across two books that had “Mr. Darcy” as part of the title, grabbed them, and handed them over. Of course, I purchased them and read them both the same week. One, Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange, was pretty good – better than most JA fan fiction novels. The other, though, left me completely bereft after reading – Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman by Maria Hamilton. I loved it. The first thing I did after finishing it was look to see if there was a sequel.

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