One of the many interesting blogs I regularly follow, NO TELLING,  has posted about the National Day of Writing. National refers to the US, but I think it is a very good suggestion  that we can celebrate internationally. The suggestion is "to  find a fast pen, a few sheets of paper, and a little quiet time during the day or night. Not all celebrations require fireworks. Everyone everywhere should be scribbling, typing, scratching, slamming out a few words". As you can see, after reading the post I immediately started doing it...scribbling , I mean. I felt like celebrating this American Day of Writing. If you are interested in the celebration and want to contribute, officially, something of yours, you can take part in the CONTRIBUTE YOUR WRITING GALLERY.
One of my dreams when I was just 10, after reading Little Women, was to become a writer like Jo March. She ended up teaching and so did I. Actually, I've never stopped writing.


One of the historical period I love most reading about or watching films set in is WWII, as I have already told you on other occasions (see my review of CHARLOTTE GRAY, for instance). Now I've just discovered BBC is going to broadcast a new series adapted from Andrea Levy's best-selling award-winning novel, SMALL ISLAND. The two-part drama is an epic love story about the determined pursuit of dreams in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers. See BBC PRESS PACK.
Among the protagonist RUTH WILSON, BBC latest JANE EYRE (2006). Do you remember her? I thought she did very good  as Charlotte Bronte's heroine with Toby Stephens as Mr Rochester.

 In this new drama she will be like this....

The key cast includes:

Naomie Harris – Hortense

David Oyelowo – Gilbert

Ruth Wilson – Queenie

Benedict Cumberbatch – Bernard

Ashley Walters – Michael

Hugh Quarshie – Narrator

Karl Johnson – Arthur

Nikki Amuka-Bird – Celia

Shaun Parkes – Winston

Denise Black – Auntie Dorothy

From the heat and hustle of life in Forties Jamaica through to the devastation of London in the Blitz, Small Island is an ambitious yet personal tale, which deftly touches on the weighty themes of empire, prejudice and war with a gentle touch and a warm, uplifting generosity of spirit.


As you can see in my right column, I'm currently reading WIVES & DAUGHTERS by Elizabeth Gaskell. Mrs Gaskell has been one of my favourite Victorian writers since I first discovered her novels thanks to a colleague of mine, teacher of History and Philosophy, who suggested me to read her MARY BARTON (1848). Then NORTH AND SOUTH and RUTH followed. Reading Wives and Daughters can be a rather time-consuming activity: 915 pages! It is Mrs Gaskell's last and unfinished work,  which I'm trying to cope with, in my very little spare time. I love it, it is a real delight but I think you'll have to wait on for quite some time for my review: 446 pages still left!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe I didn't recognise Ruth Wilson as a blonde! She was lovely as "Jane Eyre", and I'm really looking forward to seeing her in "Small Island".

Elizabeth Gaskell is an absolute treat to read, isn't she? Such elegant, flowing writing — it makes me quite jealous!

Maria Grazia said...

I can believe you didn't recognize her. I hadn't either till I read her name among the key cast!
And yes, you're definitely right: I love reading Gaskell. "Wives and daughters" is her most complex and mature novel, an absolute treat. Thanks for commenting!

lunarossa said...

Hi MG, Still a few problems with Internet. On and off as usual. I read Small Island a few years ago and although I found it interesting it didn't blow my mind. It could be that being Italian and not having lived long enough in the UK I didn't know the subject and the background well enought and maybe that's why I went on rather slowly reading it. I bet the BBC drama will be much more lively! I will give it a try, thanks. I'll be in Italy from Friday, yuppy! Ciao. A.

Maria Grazia said...

Hi, A.! Glad to hear you're coming to Italy and sorry you still have problems with your connection to the Net. Thanks for commenting and have a good time.

Judy said...

I love 'Wives and Daughters' and am sure you will enjoy it all - the Andrew Davies TV adaptation is also wonderful, if you haven't seen it yet! Judy

Maria Grazia said...

It's already there waiting to be seen just after finishing reading the novel! I'm sure I'll love it. The book is so good!Thanks Judy!