Weekend Bookblogging: Jane Austen Lives Edition

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Welcome to another end-of-the-Weekend Bookblogging, in which we discuss Jane Austen’s books and books about and inspired by Jane Austen and her work.

Several Alert Janeites wrote to tell us about a book sold to Ballantine that will probably be published in a year or so called Jane Bites Back.

Liz Scheier at Ballantine won a four-way auction for Michael Thomas Ford’s Jane Bites Back, taking world English rights to three books via Mitchell Waters at Curtis Brown. The novel presents an undead Jane Austen, frustrated by nearly 200 years of writer’s block and 116 rejections of an unpublished novel she finished just before turning into a vampire; she’s becoming increasingly irritated that the rest of the world seems to be getting rich and famous off of her works and her life. The two follow-up books will be derived from the first. Waters said Ford, the author of many books for young readers and adults, is likely to publish this under a pseudonym; pub date still undecided.

Might be fun, might be a total mess. We can’t wait to find out! Thanks to Alert Janeites Lisa, Liz, and Kerri. (Incidentally, we’ve heard about another book that brings Undead Creatures, but not vampyres, into one of Jane Austen’s novels, but are sworn to secrecy for the nonce. More news when we can share it.) And it looks like the author is not the only one with such an idea. (Thanks to Alert Janeite Lisa for that link.)

Amanda Grange is busy writing Henry Tilney’s Diary (which we know will make many of our readers happy) and is blogging the process at the Historical Romance UK blog. The first entry was posted on June 6 and the second on June 21.

Baja Janeite wrote to tell us that the latest number of the Gifted Education Press Quarterly includes an article titled “Jane Austen (1775-1817) and the Sensibility of Giftedness.” We don’t have access to this publication but would love to hear more about it from someone who does.

Alert Janeite Luciana wrote to tell us about a new Portuguese/English bilingual edition of Pride and Prejudice to be released in Brazil. If it works the same way as the similar edition of Persuasion, Orgulho e Preconceito has the story in English on one page and Portuguese on the other. Great for learning English OR Portuguese!

Alert Janeite Liz pointed us to an article in the BBC about the Melissa Nathan Awards for Romantic Comedy that included a quote from Joanna Trollope:

Trollope believes chick lit started far earlier than Bridget Jones, beginning with many women’s ultimate literary heroine – Jane Austen.

“What else was Jane Austen but a writer of romantic comedy?” she asked. “And these days, the best of the genre does measure up to good literature.”

Back there again, are we? Please to not be pigeonholing Jane Austen, kthx.

For all you Web 2.0 types, take part in an online reading group via Twitter. DailyLit, a service that delivers a chapter of a book to users’ e-mail each day, is joining up with Twitter, a microblogging service, to create an online reading community that is reading P&P (and/or two other books if you like) and talking about them both on the DailyLit forums and via Twitter. The reading groups have already started, but you can still join. The Editrix just signed up and will be tweeting her comments. Join us!

The Telegraph has listed a poll of The Top 50 Books of All Time. To Kill A Mockingbird (yay, our favorite non-Jane Austen novel!) came in first, and P&P came in at No. 4.

What Kate’s Reading has posted a review of The Family Fortune, a modern-set retelling of Persuasion, which we liked but never got around to reviewing for some reason, so we’re glad that Kate has!

Alert Janeite Julianne sent us a link that lists Jane Austen as great beach reading. We have to agree (particularly Persuasion and Sanditon).

That’s it for another Weekend Bookblogging. Until next time, Gentle Readers, always remember: Books Are Nice!