by Cathy Okhuysen, Portsmouth Public Library
There are mountains of books and movies which reference and allude to classic literature – from the TV series LOST to the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Birds (based on the short story by Daphne Du Maurier) to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (based on the novel by Jane Austen).
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, based on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (see review below), plus the four books listed below were discussed at a recent Book Talk at the Mark Wentworth Home (Portsmouth, NH.)
- Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award winning novel The Hours is based not only on Mrs. Dalloway, but also the life of Virginia Woolf herself. (Emily Temple writing for Flavorwire)
- China Mieville wrote Railsea based on Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood based on Homer’s Odyssey
- March by Geraldine Brooks based on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Other lists include:
- Christian Science Monitor book section.
- Great Books Inspired by the Classics in Center for Fiction Magazine
About Mr Pip:
Short listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2007 and winner that same year of the Comonwealth Prize, Mister Pip is narrated by teenager Matilda during the 1990s blockade of Bougainville, an island off Papua New Guinea. Both a coming of age novel and historical fiction, the real genius of this novel is the integration of the classic Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. In the school that Matilda attends, Great Expectations is the only book the volunteer teacher Mr. Watts has to read to the children. Full Review of Mister Pip:
“Despite its foreignness and strangeness — all the more difficult to comprehend in this environment, so different from 19th century England, and by kids who have been exposed to so little of any outside world — the children (and especially Matilda) are captivated by the book.”
“It was always a relief to return to Great Expectations. It contained a world that was whole and made sense, unlike ours. “
Happy reading and stop by the library for more reading recommendations!