September 30, 2016 Books-into-Films Lectures Oct. 13 and Nov. 14

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Abby Yochelson (202) 707-2138

Two lectures this fall at the Library of Congress will focus on the adaptation of books into films.

Mike Canning, a film critic for the Hill Rag, will present “Novels into Films: Like Apples and Oranges” on Thursday, Oct. 13. Maureen Corrigan, a critic for NPR’s cultural program “Fresh Air,” will present “The Not-So-Great Gatsby: How Hollywood Misinterprets America’s Greatest Novel” on Monday, Nov. 14.

Both lectures will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are not required for these events, which are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division and Interpretive Programs Office, the lectures are held in conjunction with the “America Reads” exhibition, which celebrates the public’s choice of 65 books by American authors that had a profound effect on American life. “America Reads” is on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. It is free and open to the public through Dec. 31, 2016, Monday through Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Canning will look at a number of American motion pictures based on major novels by U.S. writers. He will argue that novels and cinema are two very distinct vehicles. “The novel, particularly the novel of some literary ambition, produces a private, discursive experience essentially made by one creator for an audience of one. The Hollywood feature film has been, and still basically is, a more public, visual, dominating experience produced by a multitude of persons for a mass audience,” he said.

Canning has been the regular movie reviewer for the Hill Rag newspaper on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. since 1993, and he is a freelance writer on film, politics and public affairs. He also worked for 28 years as a press and cultural officer with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) overseas, serving in eight countries on four continents before retiring in 1993.

According to Corrigan, film and television directors have produced adaptations of “The Great Gatsby” for seemingly each generation—from the 1926 silent film (now lost), to “G,” the 2002 hip-hop rendering, and the 2013 opulent version by Baz Luhrmann. In many critics’ opinions, the results have not always been great. Illustrated with film clips to compare various versions, Corrigan will discuss some of the disappointments in adapting Fitzgerald’s novel into film.

Corrigan is a journalist, author and literary critic. She is a critic-in-residence and lecturer at Georgetown University and a book critic for NPR’s Peabody Award-winning program “Fresh Air.” Her reviews and essays have been published by The Washington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Her latest book is “So We Read On: How ‘The Great Gatsby’ Came to Be and Why it Endures.”

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division, located in the Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson building, provides reference services and collection development for subjects that encompass information in all formats for arts, humanities, social sciences, local history and genealogy. Formats include digital, print, electronic databases, microform and machine-readable collections. The division regularly sponsors programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Interpretive Programs Office plans, develops and mounts exhibitions that present the Library's collections in engaging ways to inspire learning and offer visitors the opportunity to interact with the Library’s vast and varied collections. In addition to on-site exhibitions and programming, IPO develops the content for web-based versions of the exhibitions, thus reaching visitors unable to come to Washington, D.C. The exhibition program serves as a gateway into the Library—turning visitors into users of the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at


PR 16-175
ISSN 0731-3527