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Samantha Shannon is a devoted fan of stories set in dystopian futures — which is why her debut novel is just that. The 21-year-old phenom, whose book, “The Bone Season,” came out Tuesday, cites a variety of classics among her biggest influences. Characters like Lucy Snowe from Charlotte Brontë’s “Villette” helped her forge a path for Paige Mahoney, the female protagonist of “The Bone Season.”The Times also features Samantha Shannon:
“Lucy is a fascinating character,” said Shannon. “She's very enigmatic and somewhat passive on the surface, but she faces a great deal of psychological pain. The way Brontë handles Lucy, wrapping the character in a kind of emotional façade, is something I'd like to emulate with Paige.” (Vidya Rao)
She has been compared to J.K. Rowling, the Brontë sisters and even E.L. James. Even before her novel The Bone Season was published this week, in a six-figure deal, film rights had been sold to Hollywood and The New York Times had named her as one of its “game-changing” men and women under 30. (Catherine Nixey)The New York Times publishes a good review of the English translation of Jane, le Renard et Moi by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault:
The first illustrations in the Canadian author Fanny Britt’s graphic novel, “Jane, the Fox and Me,” are of a school’s large campus, with buildings, stairways, paths, shadows, scattered trees, even a far-off forest and this line: “There was no possibility of hiding anywhere today.” (...)Alison Croggon is clear in the Herald Sun Leader. No sequels for Black Spring:
But there’s some good news. Like so many loners before her, Hélène finds refuge in a book. Hers is “Jane Eyre,” and when Hélène discusses the book, the magnificent, deeply sad illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault (the winner of a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books award for “Migrant”) go from stark, wintry colors to bold vermilion and blush rose. The handwritten text suddenly changes from brutal block letters to a curvy italic hand. Jane Eyre! Now here is someone Hélène can get behind! See, like Hélène, Jane is. . . . Well, she’s. . . . To be honest, I’m not sure why Hélène falls in love with Jane Eyre, except that perhaps she’s actually fallen in love not with Jane Eyre but with the refuge that a great book gives you in a time of struggle. When we’re young and unpopular, we need a hero most valiant, as gallant as Rapunzel’s prince, to rescue us from the horror of our daily life (and to deliver us to a semi-happy ending, even when it includes blindness). Sometimes that hero is the book’s protagonist, and sometimes it’s the book itself. (Taffy Brodesser-Akner)
She has just written and published another novel for young adults, Black Spring, inspired by Emily Brontë's gothic classic Wuthering Heights, but she swore this would not spawn sequels.Janice Clark compiles a list of coming-of-age novels for Publishers Weekly:
"I made a resolution I would never write another series, which may or may not work out,'' she said. (Fiona O'Dogherty)
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - In the time-honored throwdown of Wuthering Heights vs. Jane Eyre, I bet on Jane every time. Cathy, incomplete and suffering without her Heathcliff (or with him), can’t hope to hold up against fierce Jane, who struggles through a painful, loveless childhood and past a foiled marriage—a madwoman in the attic having long since beat her to the altar—to preserve her independent spirit, only returning to Rochester when she can feel herself an equal partner to him.Wall Street Journal reviews Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise:
It is a shocking story in itself, and the more so because it wasn't an isolated case. There were many alleged "lunatics" hidden away in the back bedrooms and attics of Victorian England—the real-life counterparts of Mrs. Rochester in "Jane Eyre"—and thousands more who were forcibly detained in asylums on flimsy and often downright false evidence of insanity. (Charles Nicholl)Oye! Times has visited Westminster Abbey:
We walked on graves and memorials to many famous historical figures from hundreds upon hundreds of years of British history. Of course, we stopped at the Poets Corner and paid homage to the wealth of literary figures honored there. My favorite, tucked away under a ledge had the names, Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë. (Ann Lonstein)A bizarre reference on Noozhawk:
Always a sucker for English cottage seaside ambiance, I pulled off Highway 101 into the Cottage Inn and got my Wuthering Heights-cottage-on-the-moor fix. (Judy Crowell)L'Orient Le Jour reviews 7 Femmes by Lydie Salvaire:
Pour ces amazones de la plume, on nomme Emily Brontë, Marina Tsvetaeva, Virginia Woolf, Colette, Sylvia Plath, Ingeborg Bachmann, Djuna Barnes. Pour ce tir groupé d’écrivaines, l’écriture c’est la salvation ou la damnation. Ou les deux à la fois. (...)Presently in the Past interviews Caitlin Greer, author of Eyre House:
Destins tragiques pour la plupart, avec Brontë morte de la tuberculose à trente ans, Marina Tsvetaeva retrouvée pendue, Sylvie Plath suicidée au gaz, Ingeborg Bachmann brûlée vive dans une chambre d’hôtel, Djuna Barnes dépressive, aux liaisons féminines multiples, Virginie Woolf noyée dans une rivière avec des poches alourdies de pierre... (Edgar Davidian) (Translation)
Diana: What’s the story behind your story (which sounds like a really cool concept, by the way!)?The Australian reviews the film Stoker and describes Mia Wasikowska's portrait of Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre 2011 as 'impressive'; Mest om bøger (in Norwegian) reviews the original Charlotte Brontë novel; L'Île aux livres (in French) does the same with Wuthering Heights.
Caitlin: Ah, well, Eyre House is a retelling of Jane Eyre. I’m not sure what sparked the original idea, or what really spark any of my ideas (which are all brilliant, of course). But I was talking over the beginnings of the idea (which, if I remember right, involved an old house on the beach with a lot of secret passages, and some crazy person using them to do all sorts of things) with one of my CPs (Kat Ellis), and she made an off-hand comment that it could even be a Jane Eyre retelling. Obviously I told her she was the most brilliant and smart person in the world, and immediately started working it out.