I read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, and I didn’t ‘get’ it, TBH. I understood it, of course, but it didn’t resonate with me in the way my teacher had hoped it would. It wasn’t until watching the new Hulu adaptation that I was really interested in the story. But I couldn’t understand why my memories of the book were so far from what the show was saying, so I dug out my old copy, still covered in post-its and margin scribbles, and forced myself to give it a second chance.
With my first reading, for whatever reason, I had a very obscure picture of the world Atwood was writing about. I wasn’t able to imagine what it would be like. But, after watching the series, I was able to really picture the world of Gilead, and it made me want to understand it better. So I decided to revisit the book, and I re-read it while watching the show. It completely changed my opinion of the novel, and now I love a book that I once hated.
Although I loved both the book and the series, I can’t ignore their differences. Though both are important and relevant, they have different missions and different lessons. The ideal would be for audiences to read and watch both; they inform each other, each provides what the other lacks. Continue reading
Alice Hoffman returns, 22 years later, to tell the first part of the story. The Rules Of Magic follows Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens as they uncover the mystery of their witchy heritage, and try to break the curse that haunts their fate. This prequel to the 1995 best-seller Practical Magic is an essential prelude to the first book, providing a fundamental understanding of the family and the secrets that follow them.
In The Rules Of Magic, we are introduced to Maria Owens, the Salem witch Hoffman uses to root the family tree in witchcraft and magik. The plot opens with Franny, Jet, and their younger brother Vincent, and explains to readers why they are the way that they are. Witch-y.
“What mattered was the blood that ran through him, the same blood that flowed through Maria Owens.” (53).
Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl demonstrates how intertextual allusions are used as piecework in order to construct new literatures together from various sources of the past. Presented in hypertext format, Patchwork Girl uses intertextual allusions borrowed from canonical texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and L. Frank Baum’s Patchwork Girl of Oz to create a new work inspired by and in reference to Shelley and Baum’s works, reinterpreting their ideas and making them modern. The work of Patchwork Girl proves that literature has always been intertextual – writers have forever been influenced by other writers. We are all only standing on the shoulders of giants.
nov·el /ˈnävəl/ noun
1. a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.
2. new or unusual in an interesting way.
Poet Ezra Pound once wrote, “The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, or a discovery is of little worth.” The very word “novel” implies innovation; in fact, the first printed novels were thus named for their specific cutting-edge contemporary style of writing. The novel itself (which was different from the other books available at the time of their invention, which included but were limited to *mostly* Bibles, ancient plays or works of poetry, or books of science or history) has gone through many iterations over the years, evolving from Gothic romance stories of the 19th century to modern series’ and now experimental novels.
This work Pry, though it is digital literature, can be considered [a] “novel” by some, in the way that it is taking the tradition of storytelling via literature and “making it new” (“novel” here meaning new, as well as a book) .
Salvador Plascencia’s debut novel The People of Paper raises questions regarding authorship and voice in a work. Blurring the lines between author and speaker, the work leaves readers questioning who is really getting to tell the story.
In a world where the victors of war (colonizers, or Saturn) dictate written history, The People of Paper offers a novel wherein the colonized (members of E.M.F.) have the opportunity to dictate their own point of view. This novel forces readers to question the authenticity of what they are reading; how much of the story has been fabricated, misrepresented, or mistold? This novel requires readers to glean their own understanding of truth by sifting through various sides of the same story. Continue reading