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, played by Lilly Collins, her daughter Cosette, played by Ellie Bamber, and police inspector Javert, played by David Oyelowo, who chases after fugitive Jean Valjean, played by Dominic West.

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Benedict Wells

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“Carson McCullers is probably the author I feel the strongest connection to, in the way of empathy and seeing the world.” Benedict Wells, whose fourth novel, The End of Loneliness (Penguin Books, 2019), translated from the German by Charlotte Collins, is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, talks about his writing process, how he began as a writer, and some of the authors who have inspired him.

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a film adaptation of David Lagercrantz’s crime novel, translated from the Swedish by George Goulding, which continues the Millennium series originated by the late Stieg Larsson. Directed by Fede Alvarez, the film sees the return of the two primary characters in the series: computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, played by Claire Foy, and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, played by Sverrir Gudnason.

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Maryse Condé

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In this 2002 interview, Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé talks with Ann Armstrong Scarboro, who wrote the afterword to Condé’s novel I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem (University of Virginia Press, 2009), translated from the French by Richard Philcox, about uncovering truth in her writing. Condé is the winner of the inaugural New Academy Prize in Literature, which was established this year as an alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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My Brilliant Friend

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My Brilliant Friend (Europa Editions, 2012), the first novel in the Neapolitan Quartet by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, has been adapted into HBO’s first foreign-language series. Directed by Saverio Costanzo, the eight-episode miniseries stars Elisa Del Genio, Gaia Girace, Margherita Mazzucco, and Ludovica Nasti.

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Dorthe Nors and Helena Kelly

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“There are so many women who are not married, and don’t have children, out there; there are so many of us but it’s still a bit provocative to write about.” In this interview for BBC News, Dorthe Nors talks about Jane Austen, writing about women, and her novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Graywolf Press, 2018), with Helena Kelly, author of the biography Jane Austen, the Secret Radical (Knopf, 2017).

June 2nd, 1989

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“I didn’t have a chance / to say a word before you became / a character in the news...” Khaled Hosseini, Rita Dove, Philip Gourevitch, and Siri Hustvedt read Liu Xia’s poem “June 2nd, 1989” from Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press, 2015), translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern. PEN America and Amnesty International collaborated on the video series as a call to free Liu Xia from house arrest in Beijing, where she has been held since her late husband, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, was imprisoned in 2009.

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Flights by Olga Tokarczuk Wins

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“It sings, it bubbles…it would enrich anybody’s life to read it.” Tim Martin and the panel of judges for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize discuss and praise this year’s winner, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft. Tokarczuk is the first Polish writer to win the Man Booker International Prize. 

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Luljeta Lleshanaku

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Luljeta Lleshanaku reads from her collection Haywire: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2011) in English translation and in the original Albanian, and talks about how history, politics, and religion have informed her writing. Lleshanaku’s new collection, Negative Space (New Directions, 2018), translated from the Albanian by Ani Gjika, is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Samanta Schweblin

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Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin talks about living in Berlin and reads from her debut novel, Fever Dream (Riverhead Books, 2017), translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell. Fever Dream, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, was the winner of the 2018 Tournament of Books beating out George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House, 2017) in the final round.

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