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On the Books: Literary adaptations rule in French cinema

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Blue Is The Warmest Color

-The U.S isn’t the only country that loves adapting books for movies. The French promotional organization Unifrance discovered recently that one out of every five French movies is based on a book. The percentage is even higher for successful and critically acclaimed French movies. For example, Blue Is the Warmest Color, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2013, was based on a graphic novel by Julie Maroh. 2015 French cinema is set to include more adaptations, such as Mark Osborne’s big-budget version of The Little Prince.  [Variety]

Talking to children about racism and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. can be difficult. University of Pennsylvania professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas points out, several new children’s books portray the African-American history and experiences in an accessible way. Hester Bass’ Seeds of Freedom tackles the Civil Rights Movement, illustrating both violent incidents and nonviolent protests. James E. Ransome illustrates Sojourner Truth’s autobiographical free verse in My Name is Truth and the story of a Reconstruction-era family rebuilding their local school in Freedom’s School. Faith Ringgold’s Harlem Renaissance Party is a colorful rendition of the Harlem Renaissance and African-American icons like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. [LA Times]

-Finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced Monday. Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric was nominated in both Poetry and Criticism, marking the first time a single book has been nominated in two different categories. “Rankine’s appearance on two separate categories is a testament to her book’s complexity, narrative reach and artistry,” Rigoberto Gonzalez, Chair of the Poetry committee, said in a press release. There are five finalists in each category. Other finalists include Thomas Piketty’s Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century (translated by Arthur Goldhammer), Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction, and Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. Winners will be announced on March 12 at a ceremony in New York. [National Book Critics Circle]

 

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