Thursday News: celebrating Romance, restricting books, rewriting Little Women, and erasing women’s history
Happy Ever After: 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances – An interesting list that at the very least reflects the difficulty in making any kind of “best of” list. If that’s what this is. We get back, pretty quickly, to the question of what makes a Romance novel effective, and what “good” or “best” or even “swoon-worthy” means in the context of a list like this. Also some of the comments will make you want to pull your hair out strand by strand. Although the discussion about covers is kind of interesting, especially in the way that they code the books for readers and how that should not be apologized for or seen as a negative thing, for any number of reasons.
Back in June we asked you to tell us about your favorite romantic reads, and you responded in droves. (We had to shut the poll down early after more than 18,000 nominations flooded in!) Once the votes were tallied, we turned to our expert panel, reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell, and authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkou, to help us break down the categories and shape the final list into a love story for the ages.
“It is my sincere hope and belief that readers new to the romance genre can pick up any recommended title on the list and find an interesting, affecting and satisfying read,” says Thomas. We hope new readers and longtime fans alike will find a happily ever after here — but if we’ve left out one of your favorites, please tell us about it in the comments! –NPR
AFTER PARENT OUTCRY, WEST ASHLEY HIGH PULLS SOME GIRLS ARE FROM SUMMER READING LIST – I haven’t read the book in question, but I’m surprised and dismayed at the power one parent was able to wield in this situation. I also wonder how the legacy of abstinence-only sex education has helped shape the idea that teenagers need to be shielded from everything sexual or sexually challenging. Also, what are the chances that these kids are allowed to watch violent television and movie programming, especially if it’s men blowing crap up or exacting vigilante justice.
Some Girls Are is a confrontational no-holds-barred look at young adolescent life. It’s about bullying–something most teenagers witness, experience or perpetuate in their school careers. It’s about a highly toxic culture that fosters aggression between girls. The novel explores the consequences of hurting people and asks us to consider the impact our actions have on others. It’s about picking up the pieces of our mistakes and bettering ourselves. It’s about forgiveness. . . .
I have made a career out of writing young adult fiction about difficult topics. It’s my deepest hope teenagers living the harsh realities I write about–because they do live them–will read my books and feel less alone. It’s incredibly powerful to see yourself in a book when you’re struggling. Not only that, but gritty, realistic YA novels offer a safe space for teen readers to process what is happening in the world around them, even if they never directly experience what they’re reading about. This, in turn, creates a space for teens and the adults in their lives to discuss these topics. Fiction also helps us to consider lives outside of our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic toward others. –Courtney Summers’ Tumblr
The CW Is Developing A “Gritty” Adaptation of Little Women & We Are Both Excited And Scared -I’m not really averse to the idea of a “gritty” Little Women, because I think LW has some gritty aspects already, but I guess my question is why adapt Little Women as a dystopian television series. I mean, why not just develop a dystopian series about four sisters? Like what is it about Alcott that supposedly lends itself to this treatment?
The script, written by Alexis Jolly, follows “disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy” as they “band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined—all while trying not to kill each other in the process.”–E! Online
You mean that isn’t what lady history is all about? – This was supposed to be a museum celebrating women of the East End of London and their “contribution to British history.” Now it’s a Jack the Ripper museum, because, of course, that’s a more “interesting angle.” You know, I tend to dislike calling everything that objectifies and defaces women “misogyny,” and the insult to historical research and actual history is pretty bold here, as well, but it’s pretty difficult to get past the “interesting angle” comment here without registering a powerful blow to the women’s history and the history of women representing the East End.
Mr Palmer-Edgecumbe said: “We did plan to do a museum about social history of women but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper.”
“It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place.” –Pharyngula
““It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place.” –Pharyngula”
… this sounds like it is going off on the angle of blaming the women for why they died. Guess that is one place I won’t be visiting then.
“It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place.”
Hmm… Let me guess. They didn’t want to starve to death?
Its not exactly a mystery why people turn to prostitution, in general. Nor why so many serial killers target them.
Yesterday Courtney Milan posted a meme-type graphic to Facebook that said “When you see a fallen woman you should look for the man that pushed her.”
If they could get past the sensationalism of a serial killer, the actual history of how the women ended up in the East End would have been so much more interesting. Sigh. Also of note is that it’s MR what-his-face announcing how much more interesting this version would be.
The whole “Little Women” adaptation might actually just end there with four sisters named Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. “IZombie” is doing well for them and the only ties to the source material that show has is “Liv Moore is a zombie who gets the memories from the brains that are her food.”
She’s the only character from the source material in the show and her entire back history was changed. So it might just be four sisters fighting evil.
Well, if you rip-off Alcott and use her characters, your audience will already identify them as to personalities and relationships, saving you all the trouble of having to create original characters out of whole cloth.
I think this is just another example of how unbelievably lazy movie and TV writers have become. Nothing is original and fresh anymore. Everything’s a rehash. And usually a very bad rehash that’s an insult to the original.
I like the actor from NCIS and have heard he’s a really nice guy, but I think this is a terrible decision on his part and the others involved. Make something new, for pity’s sake. Quit defiling classics.
I was thinking thinks like this Little Women “adaptation” are kind of the opposite of P2P fanfiction. You come up with your own story idea and then you paste on serial numbers in order to sell it/hook viewers or readers. It’s not unrelated to the high concept trend in romance–Regency Brady Bunch/Bachelor/US Weekly. There seems to be an assumption that people no longer want things that are “original,” that stories are more appealing if they’re openly and obviously based on something already familiar.
I think a Ripper Museum is actually a very metaphorical representation of female history. Men put women in untenable positions and then kill them for being in that position.
One wonders if the “museum of women’s history” business wasn’t a dodge from the very beginning, just so local officials would give the developers the go-ahead to build the facility they wanted. File that under “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” Jack the Ripper seems to be a safe bet for tourist dollars, judging by the number of Ripper walking tours I saw in London this summer.
The really disturbing part to me is that Mr. Palmer-Edgecomb is identified in the article as “former Google diversity chief.” If this is what constitutes diversity and inclusion, we’re in big trouble.
“Well, we were going to open a museum about African/African American history and all the amazing contributions they’ve made to the world, but we decided to do the whole museum full of pictures of enslaved African Americans being brutalized. There’s a cute cafe in the back where you can see the pretty dresses of the plantation owners’ wives. Seeing people suffering and losing their agency is really inspiring! I’m sure they’ll love! Next, the Jewish cultural exhibit that’s nothing but pictures of Hitler’s propaganda!”
Because God forbid they do something that shows a minority as the person with power and empathy and goals. This just makes me so sad. And I love ghost/serial killer things usually.
The article about the museum in London you link to links to an even more revealing one:
“A document sent by Mr Palmer-Edgecumbe’s architects, Waugh Thistleton, last August to support the building’s conversion from a disused Victorian shop and flats into a museum included pictures of suffragettes and equal pay campaigners and designs for a museum called the Museum of Women’s History.”
@anon: Well I think it is unrealistic to expect anything completely new.
“The Mysteries of Laura” and “Jane the Virgin” are based on other tv shows. iZombie, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, etc. are based on comic books. The Vampire Diaries, Outlander, Poldark, Game of Thrones, Elementary, etc. are based on books. Once Upon a Time and Supernatural are based on faerie tales and supernatural myths.
The majority of things on television right now came from something else. I think a lot of TV uses things people are familiar with to springboard into new concepts. You have shows like Arrow which has completely axed the comic book love story in favor of something else. There are shows like iZombie where they take Liv Moore, the zombie, and have her investigate crimes instead of being a grave digger. Then you have things like Once Upon a Time that take classic stories and flip them on their heads (Rumpelstiltskin is the Crocodile from Peter Pan AND the Beast from Beauty and Beast, Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk was a woman, Peter Pan was evil, etc.).
So a lot of things are based on other things. Even shows like NCIS, CSI, etc. pull stories from the news.