Toronto Star

Three twice-told stories

- DEBORAH DUNDAS BOOKS EDITOR

Retelling, reimaginin­g and revisiting — these three books ask us to take a second look.

Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is studied in schools across the United States, and is considered one of the best short stories ever written in that country. Now, it’s out in an “authorized” graphic novel adaptation (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Miles Hyman, Jackson’s grandson.

The darkness of the original is evoked in the richly coloured and drawn illustrati­ons. The ending is foreshadow­ed with Hyman’s illustrati­ons as deftly as Jackson does in her story, and offers just as much of a punch in the gut.

Parents and children reading the same book together is one way of creating an atmosphere to talk about issues, history or even just have a chat about stories. Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo (Gallery Books) offers a unique way of doing that: it’s published as an adult biography but has also been adapted into a “young reader’s edition” by Mary Cronk Farrell.

Both tell the story of Irena Sendler who saved 2,500 children from being sent to Hitler’s concentrat­ion camps. The language and presentati­on in the youth version are more accessible and the page count is much shorter.

When your author makes it on the Giller Prize shortlist, it’s an opportune time to re-release a previous book. Zoe Whittall may have been nominated for her novel The Best Kind of People (Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothingwon the prize), but it’s also the tenth publicatio­n anniversar­y of her second book, a collection of prose poetry called The Emily Valentine Poems (Invisible Press). In a listicle-type introducti­on at the beginning of this edition, Whittall marvels at her own youth and confidence as she rereads. Revisits can be just as eye-opening for readers too.

 ??  ?? Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery The Authorized Graphic Adaptation, by Miles Hyman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 138 pages, $42.
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery The Authorized Graphic Adaptation, by Miles Hyman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 138 pages, $42.
 ??  ?? Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo, Gallery Books, 336 pages, $35.
Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo, Gallery Books, 336 pages, $35.

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