Getting to the Bottom of the Buzz: YPG Book-to-Film Club Takes on Winter’s Bone

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How far would you go to keep your family safe? On June 22, 2011, a hardy group of YPG members from twelve AAP member publishing houses and literary agencies came together to find out, as the lights went down for the Book-to-Film Club screening of Winter’s Bone.

Daniel Woodrell’s 2006 novel (published by Hachette Book Group) tells the story of Ree Dolly, a sixteen-year-old girl whose family is threatened with eviction when her father—notorious for his drug connections and on the run from the law—puts their house and land up for collateral on his bail. The novel’s stark Ozarks setting and unflinching descriptions of physical violence made for a read that was simultaneously sobering and lyrical.

Before the movie, which was released in 2010 and directed by Debra Granik, attendees discussed the aspects of the book they were most eager to see on screen. Many wondered aloud how the movie would address narration, since much of the novel is driven by the descriptions that come through Ree’s eyes. Given the attention the film received during last year’s Oscar season, YPG members were also curious to see the film’s star, Jennifer Lawrence, give the performance that earned her a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

A couple of hours, several bags of Trader Joe’s white cheddar corn puffs, and a few technical difficulties later, conversation resumed, comparing book and movie after experiencing both. YPG members almost universally declared their preference for Woodrell’s version of Winter’s Bone (and it’s not just because we’re publishers, we promise). Several viewers were surprised that the sense of urgency a reader feels on Ree’s behalf in the book did not translate to the movie’s pacing. Those in attendance were divided in their feelings on the film’s interpretation of the Ozarks setting: was the landscape made harsher or less punishing when snow and ice were not as ever-present as in Woodrell’s novel? Let us know what you think, fellow YPGers.

Next up: The Book-to-Film Club has selected Kathryn Stockett’s The Help as its third read. The 2009 novel tells its story of ethnic and class divisions in 1960s Mississippi through the interaction of two African American maids and one young white writer. This time, the viewing will take place on the big screen—the group will convene to see the movie version, which will be released August 12, at an AMC theater in Manhattan. Start reading, and click here to RSVP for the August 24 screening now!

To join the YPG Book-to-Film Club, sign up here:


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