Les Misérables

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Tom Shankland has directed a new television series adaptation of Les Misérables, Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 historical fiction novel, for Masterpiece on PBS. The cast of characters includes a young working woman Fantine, her daughter Cosette, and police inspector Javert, who chases after fugitive Jean Valjean. Ellie Bamber, Lilly Collins, David Oyelowo, and Dominic West star in the lead roles.

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Alias Grace

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Alias Grace (Anchor Books, 1996), Margaret Atwood’s fictional account of Grace Marks, an Irish Canadian maid who was convicted of murdering her employer and his mistress in 1843, has been adapted into a television series. Directed by Mary Harron and written by Sarah Polley, the series stars Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, and Zachary Levi.

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Min Jin Lee

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“I wanted very much to write an accurate historical novel because I was so troubled about how hate can operate in our hearts.” Min Jin Lee introduces herself and talks about the impetus for her second novel, Pachinko (Grand Central Publishing, 2017), a story that follows four generations of a Korean immigrant family in twentieth-century Japan.

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Z: The Beginning of Everything

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“He basically married the heroine of his stories.” In this Amazon original series based on Therese Anne Fowler’s historical novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), David Hoflin and Christina Ricci star as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

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The Handmaiden

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The Handmaiden, directed by Park Chan-wook, is a South Korean film adaptation of Sarah Waters’s crime novel Fingersmith (Riverhead Books, 2002). The film, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, transfers the setting of the Victorian era story—about an orphaned pickpocket hired to pose as a maid for a wealthy heiress—to Korea under Japanese colonial rule in the 1930s.

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The Paying Guests

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"It's very much about ordinary lives being plunged into the unexpected, the eruption of passion and drama into domestic life." Sarah Waters speaks about her latest novel, set in 1922 in a large house full of family members, servants, and lodgers. The novel was published by Riverhead in September and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize.

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