Friday, February 15, 2013

Ten top Romeo and Juliet stories

Na'ima B. Robert's novels for young adults include From Somalia with Love, Boy vs Girl, Far From Home, and Black Sheep.

One of her favorite tales of star-crossed lovers and unrequited love, as told to the Guardian:
1984 by George Orwell

An unexpected choice, I know, inspired, no doubt, by the brilliant George Orwell season on BBC Radio 4. Orwell's prescient tale of a totalitarian dystopia may seem to have little in common with Shakespeare's famous love story but, for me, the central love story is the same. For a start, Winston Smith and Julia are Party members. As such, their liaison is strictly forbidden and they risk death with every stolen moment. And then there is their terrible, tragic end. Not being "erased", as they once feared; indeed, they suffer a fate far worse: they end up betraying each other in order to save themselves. Aged, weary and cowed at last, the two lovers who believed that they could change the world end up with nothing but bitter feelings for each other. The only consolation is that, finally, Winston finally gives in to what the state requires of him: he loves Big Brother, possibly the most tragic ending the story could have had.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Nineteen Eighty-four is on Gabe Habash's list of ten songs inspired by books and a list of the 100 best last lines from novels. The book made Charlie Jane Anders's list of ten science fiction novels we pretend to have read, Juan E. Méndez's list of five books on torture, P. J. O’Rourke's list of the five best political satires, Daniel Johnson's five best list of books about Cold War culture, Robert Collins' top ten list of dystopian novels, Gemma Malley's top 10 list of dystopian novels for teenagers, is one of Norman Tebbit's six best books and one of the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King. It made a difference to Isla Fisher, and appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best Aprils in literature, ten of the best rats in literature, and ten of the best horrid children in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue