This week’s book controversy goes to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the classic, dark children’s story by Roald Dahl. A new release of the book by Penguin – to celebrate 50 years of publication – has received criticism and praise for its imaginative cover. The image shows a young girl, dressed in pink attire and immobilised like a doll, staring blankly askew from the cover. The cut-off mother figure and ominous shadow framing the child is unsettling, and some are accusing the image of being sexualised. However, it does rightly show the disturbing subject matter present in the story while also reflecting the bubble-gum childishness of the adventure in Willy Wonka’s factory. Do you think it unnerving? Or perfect? Or the perfect publicity stunt?
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time will be turned into a film by Disney’s Frozen director Jennifer Lee. The multiple-award winning classic book (published in the early ’60s) follows the Murry children as they become swept up in an adventure across space, trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of their scientist father. In this era of high-concept, fantasy YA films, this story is ripe for an adaptation – it features ancient beings, telepathic powers, space travel and the fight between good and evil.
In tangential news, the success of Frozen has now spawned a book series. Four tales will be published featuring the sisters Elsa and Anna. These will be available in 2015. Forecasts show these will sell out faster than Harry Potter and midnight release dates have already been set for all major cities. . .*
Haruki Murakami’s (insanely) eagerly anticipated new novel arrived on UK bookshelves last week, following its fantastically successful run in Japan. The author’s fourteenth novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, is, as well as being a mouthful, about a somewhat isolated physics student and his clique of friends at school, who all have colours for names, and the main character’s search to find his own identity.
Finally, the Guardian’s First Book award now has a longlist for the £10,000 prize. Authors vying for the award include Matthew Thomas for We Are Not Ourselves and Sarah Perry’s After Me Comes the Flood. The award also has a non-fiction category and includes brain surgery memoir Do No Harm by Henry Marsh and Marion Coutts Iceberg.