Monday, February 01, 2016

Monday, February 01, 2016 10:04 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
The Independent reviews Sam Baker's The Woman Who Ran, inspired by Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Divorced woman named Helen Graham moves into a dilapidated house called Wildfell in the beautiful yet unforgiving Yorkshire countryside, earning the attention of a local man called Gilbert Markham and arousing the suspicion and interest of the local gossips. If you think you know this story, think again. This is not The Tenant of Wildfell Hall but rather Sam Baker’s brilliant and brutal take on Anne Brontë’s final novel.
The Woman Who Ran is no simple remake of the 1848 classic, however. “I wouldn’t dare to do anything that presumptuous,” says Baker. “But I did want to explore the themes of Anne’s novel, which were hugely radical at the time, look at what is still relevant, what has changed for women …. And, more importantly, what hasn’t.” `...
So, Baker’s book … As with Wildfell, The Woman Who Ran is indeed about a woman called Helen who takes up residence in Wildfell House on the edge of a small Yorkshire Dales village. This Helen might run for fun over the fells and hills that inspired the Brontës, but she’s also running from something darker.
Fractured memories give hints of a devastating fire in a Paris flat, a body in the choking smoke, and a woman doing her level best to become invisible.
What follows is akin to a hike across Brontë country in threatening fog. We might think we know where we’re going, but the way ahead, and the path behind, are unclear. Surprises, wrong turns and detours loom in the mist. And always, just out of sight, there’s someone watching ….
Brontë’s Helen Graham shocked Victorian society in her refusal to behave as it demanded women should. Indeed, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is considered one of the first feminist novels. “It’s my favourite Brontë novel,” says Baker, “and the best, in my opinion.
It definitely doesn’t get nearly as much credit as it should. When I first re-read it I was worried it might have dated too badly, but the themes remain incredibly radical. Anne wrote about a woman who left her violent husband, which women just didn’t do then, and earned a living painting in oils. A medium usually reserved for men. If women painted, they were expected to use watercolours.
“In making my Helen Graham a photojournalist specialising in war zones I was trying to find the modern equivalent. I was, I freely admit, inspired by Marie Colvin, who died in Syria in 2012, whom I admired greatly. She was immensely brave. ”
Baker’s Helen has her own Gilbert Markham, an early retired newspaper man whose journalistic curiosity is piqued by Wildfell’s enigmatic new tenant. Gil really gets equal plot-time to Helen, and is the vehicle Baker uses to explore two of the themes running through The Woman Who Ran: the nature of gossip, and the way we put ourselves on display online, especially on social media.
“In Anne’s novel,” says Baker, “Helen leaves her husband to live in a dilapidated hall and, of course, the local gossip machine kicks in immediately. I wanted to explore how that would work in the 21st century.”
The answer is that the local gossips still gather at the corner shop, the village pub and the local cafe, but gossip feeds on (and feeds) social media and then there is the proliferation of information about ourselves we put there. A virtual world that Gil – just old enough to have not whole-heartedly embraced social media – discovers as he hunts for information about Helen. (David Barnett)
Another writer, Jessie Burton, is interviewed by El Heraldo (Colombia).
Estudió Literatura Latinoamericana, ¿qué autores latinos le gustan?  Bueno, los clásicos (risas). García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Borges, Isabel Allende... probablemente porque cuando somos menores en el colegio un novelista como García Márquez es bastante fácil para leer  y disfrutar pero su estilo se termina pegando un poco. La primera novela que leí de él fue El coronel no tiene quien le escriba. Con mi educación inglesa también leí muchos clásicos como Austin [sic], Brontë, debo confesar que no conozco mucho más que estos grandes autores, pero me encantan a la vez. (Diana Sofía Polo) (Translation)
The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel picks '10 moments from Milwaukee's past' which happened in the month of February.
Feb. 24, 1937:
When Kate met Howard (maybe)
Katharine Hepburn opened a four-day run in the Theatre Guild's production of "Jane Eyre" at the Pabst Theater, but her performance ("she acts with a fierce sincerity," the reviewer for the Wisconsin News wrote) took a back seat to her rumored companion during her stay: Howard Hughes. A month after breaking his own transcontinental speed record, the aviator-industrial-recluse-to-be reportedly stayed under an assumed name at the Cudahy Tower, where Hepburn also was staying. Hepburn repeatedly refused to discuss during her stay in Milwaukee, including reports that the couple had married in Chicago. (They weren't, and never did. They broke up a year later.) (Chris Foran)
The Independent (Ireland) features 'muse, socialite, heiress' and now singer Daphne Guinness.
Daphne is the torchbearer as far as female Guinness drama is concerned. She is the daughter of Jonathan, Lord Moyne (brother of Desmond Guinness), and a French actress, Suzanne Lisney, and spent her childhood moving between Ireland, Paris, her family's country estate in Warwickshire, their house in London and their holiday home in Cadaqués, Spain - she's described it as "a Spanish Wuthering Heights." (Donal Lynch)
The Gulf News reports that its readers 'would choose Jane Eyre over Emma and [Vanity Fair's] Becky as their tea-time companion'. PopSugar (Australia) has selected several romantic movie quotes, including one from Wuthering Heights 1939. AnneBrontë.org analyses the relationship between Anne and Charlotte. Austenesque Reviews posts about Elizabeth Newark's Jane Eyre's Daughter. Public Books reviews Patricia Park's Re Jane. Finlly, The Literary Quilter reviews yet another Brontë sequel, Nelly Dean by Alison Case.


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