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February 19, 2019

Books Based on Books and Other Literary Works

Books Based on Books and Other Literary Works

Review by: Ally Muterspaw

Literary stories are imaginative and original landscapes that we encounter on a day-to-day basis. Whether we hold them in our hands, or we witness them through e-readers or audiobooks, getting lost in someone else’s story is so breathtaking. Creating an original story can be tough, but some of the most original works are based on other stories! Check out some of these refreshing books based on other literary works.

Belzhar, by Meg Wolitzer, tells the story of Jam Gallahue, who is sent off to a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont after the death of her boyfriend Reeve Maxfield. A journal assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, a place where the past is restored, and she can be reunited with Reeve once again. Inspired by The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Hag-seed: The tempest retold, by Margaret Atwood, is a story of retribution. Felix, former artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival, who is uprooted and exiled to a life in rural southern Ontario, comes up with a plan to reclaim his storytelling status. Through a teaching job at the Burgess Correctional Institution, he begins his own production of The Tempest that brings him close to his rivals. Inspired by The Tempestby William Shakespeare

The His Dark Materials series, by Philip Pullman, is an epic style trilogy that follows the coming-of-age of two children, Lyra and Will, as they wander through parallel worlds that unbalance the universe and create chaos. The first book of the series is The Golden Compass, and all books are inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

The Hours, by Michael Cunningham, tells the three intergenerational stories of Virginia Woolf in the 1920s, Laura Brown, a young mother and wife in the 1940s, and Clarissa Vaughan in 1990s New York, whose stories all intertwine with the events and circumstances of Mrs. Dalloway, by Virgina Woolf.

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward, takes place in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, where Esch’s family prepares for a hurricane brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. While fourteen year-old Esch keeps the secret that she’s pregnant, the book analyzes a family of motherless children protecting one another while enduring the trauma of living in poverty. Inspired by Medea by Euripides.

In A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley, Larry Cook announces his intentions to turn his 1,000 acre farm in Iowa to one of his three daughters. While Larry’s alcohol abuse increases, and with one daughter carved out from the will, the Cook women must come face-to-face with grim realities of life on a family farm. Inspired by King Learby William Shakespeare