The Novella Nostalgia Series
This publishing initiative brings together the uniqueness of the novella and various memorable movies from the history of cinema.
The word ‘novella’ comes from the Italian for ‘novel.’ It has been interpreted in various ways including ‘a long short story’ or a ‘short novel’. It can be traced back to the early renaissance in Italy and France. Giovanni Boccaccio wrote ‘The Decameron’ in 1353. This comprises 100 tales of ten people fleeing the black death. It was not until the 18th and 19th centuries that the novella emerged as a literary genre.
In 1941, the Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig wrote ‘The Chess Novella’ which was later renamed ‘The Royal Game’. This was the inspiration for the 1960 film ‘Brainwashed’.
Most modern novellas are published by Penguin Modern Classics. The various novella prizes seem to stipulate a word count of between 7,500 and 40,000. A key feature of the novella is its limited punctuation. There are no chapter headings and no breaks apart from spaces where the author needs to show a scene change.
‘Lunch with Harry’ pays tribute to one of the great films produced by Hollywood. Made in 1961, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ was based on the novella written by Truman Capote. It produced a mesmeric performance by Audrey Hepburn.
The modern tale is transferred to London and features the charismatic Ella van Houten and Harry, who is guilt ridden following the death of his wife. They meet in Regent Street in unusual circumstances. Their growing relationship parallels their search for a model of the Mexican general, Santa Anna, who burned ‘The Alamo’ to the ground.
The second publication, scheduled for April 2017, is ‘Twelve Troubled Jurors’ with echoes of ‘12 Angry Men’ which gave the film world one of Henry Fonda’s greatest performances.
This will be followed by ‘Forever on Thursdays’ which hints at the unforgettable British film ‘Brief Encounter’. The love affair between Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard remains an icon in film history.