Screen shots

The Oldie - - REVIEW OF BOOKS -

An Au­thors’ Li­cens­ing and Col­lect­ing So­ci­ety’s re­port pub­lished in the sum­mer found that earn­ings from writ­ing had fallen by 15 per cent since 2013. The me­dian an­nual in­come of a pro­fes­sional au­thor, it re­vealed, is now £10,500 (well be­low the Joseph Rowntree Fund’s def­i­ni­tion of the 2017 min­i­mum in­come stan­dard of £17,900). As win­ter ar­rives, imag­ine the scene: strug­gling au­thors in their cold and gloomy gar­rets try­ing to keep their fin­gers from freez­ing over their key­boards… But, as Rob­bie Millen re­cently pointed out in the Times, there is po­ten­tially a new source of in­come with the ar­rival of stream­ing ser­vices such as Net­flix and Ama­zon. It means there is a huge de­mand for con­tent, and nov­els ‘are ob­vi­ous can­di­dates’.

Some of the most ad­mired re­cent tele­vi­sion dra­mas are adap­ta­tions of con­tem­po­rary nov­els – Mar­garet At­wood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Ed­ward St Aubyn’s se­ries of Mel­rose nov­els, Hi­lary Man­tel’s Wolf Hall, to name just three. Plus, of course, John le Carré’s Lit­tle Drum­mer Girl (1983), which has just hit our telly screens on Sun­days. And it’s not only fic­tion: Misha Glenny’s 2008 Mc­mafia be­came a hugely pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion thriller at the be­gin­ning of the year.

Wolf Hall won the Booker Prize and The Handmaid’s Tale was short­listed. This year’s win­ner is Milk­man by Anna Burns (see page 30). Re­views at its time of pub­li­ca­tion were not all com­pli­men­tary (‘a long slog’ was one de­scrip­tion) but the Booker Prize chair­man, Kwame Anthony Ap­piah, sug­gested that peo­ple who found it a dif­fi­cult read should try to read it aloud – so maybe it’s suit­able for the screen? And if you look in­side, there are sev­eral nov­els that also might make the big time: how about Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Strug­gle? Or Wil­liam Boyd’s Love Is Blind or Paris Echo by Se­bas­tian Faulks (these last two au­thors, of course, be­ing vet­er­ans of the book-to-screen genre)? Des­tined for the screen or not, there are lots of im­mensely en­joy­able books in­side. Take a look. Liz An­der­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.