Tag: alias grace

Teddy Kelley

4 Famous Books Inspired By Dreams

Dreams have long been a fascinating phenomenon, eliciting intrigue, confusion, angst, and much debate between individuals. Dreams have a significant impact on dreamers everywhere and no one knows that better than creative minds.


Writers have often found inspiration and guidance from their dreams, as their own creative imaginations and inclinations towards capturing stories and experiences mirror dreams’ created allusions. Here are 4 famous books that were inspired by dreams.


1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Image via Amazon


Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein, a quintessentially classic novel, as a result of challenging herself and a group of fellow writers including Lord Byron, to write a horror story after the group of pals found themselves relating haunting ghost stories one night at a party. Soon afterwards, Shelley reportedly had a bizarre dream about a creature created by a scientist. That dream later led to what is now Frankenstein.


“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Preface 


2. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood



Image via Amazon


Margaret Atwood’s historical fiction tale, Alias Grace, was largely inspired by her appreciation of Canadian author, Susanna Moodie, who had written about the bizarre murder mystery surrounding the real Grace Marks. Atwood experienced an “empathetic” dream about Moodie, which led her to closely study Moodie’s work, particularly her coverage of Marks.


“The best writing dream I ever had was in the mid-Sixties. I dreamt I’d written an opera about a nineteenth-century English emigrant called Susanna Moodie, whose account of her awful experiences, Roughing It In The Bush, was among my parents’ books. It was a very emphatic dream, so I researched Mrs. Moodie, and eventually wrote a poem sequence, a television play, and a novel—Alias Grace—all based on material found in her work. But that sort of dream experience is rare.” – Margaret Atwood, NY Review



3. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King



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If there’s one author who finds writing inspiration from their dreams (or their nightmares), it’s Stephen King. The Master of Horror has been vocal about his belief that dreaming, whether lucid or not, is an integral part of the creative process. One eerie dream in particular during his childhood proved so haunting and Stephen King-esque that it would be used as an outline for Salem’s Lot decades later. 


“It was a dream where I came up a hill and there was a gallows on top of this hill with birds all flying around it. There was a hang man there. He had died, not by having his neck broken, but by strangulation. I could tell because his face was all puffy and purple. And as I came close to him he opened his eyes, reached his hands out and grabbed me.

Years later I began to work on Salem’s Lot… as I was looking around for a spooky house, a guy who works in the creative department of my brain said, ‘Well what about this nightmare you had when you were eight or nine years old? Will that work?’ And I remembered the nightmare, and I thought, yes, it’s perfect.”- Stephen King, Writers Dreaming


4. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer



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Say what you want about Twilight, but the YA phenomenon has been one of the most successful book series in history and earned Stephanie Meyers a pretty impressive paycheck as well as cultural recognition. Interestingly enough, this cultural phenomenon came to the author in a dream.


“It was two people in kind of a little circular meadow with really bright sunlight, and one of them was a beautiful, sparkly boy and one was just a girl who was human and normal, and they were having this conversation. The boy was a vampire, which is so bizarre that I’d be dreaming about vampires, and he was trying to explain to her how much he cared about her and yet at the same time how much he wanted to kill her.” – Stephanie Meyers, CNN


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Alias Grace

New Margaret Atwood Adaptation ‘Alias Grace’ Set to Electrify!

The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has take the world by storm, both due to its excellent production and also the enduring relevance of the themes it explores. The new Atwood inspired Netflix show Alias Grace, based on the 1986 novel, is set to do the same.


The six-part miniseries is based on the true story from 1843 of Irish immigrant in Canada, Grace Marks, who was convicted of murdering her employer and the housekeeper assisted by stable-hand James McDermott. Similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, the story explores themes of oppression and abuse, but it is not set in a dystopia. This was real life, which, the A.V. Club points out, makes it all the more scary. The L.A. Times says ‘Alias Grace isn’t The Handmaid’s Tale, but it is part of the same story – a story of oppression passed down from generation to generation.’


Sarah Gadon in Alias Grace

Image Via Toronto International Film Festival 


The A.V. Club are calling it a ‘remarkable series.’ In response to the show’s handling of reproductive rights and the dangers of backstreet abortions, they note that ‘like [A Handmaid’s Tale], it’s a stern reminder of everything today’s women have to lose, and how little conservative legislation it would take to lose everything.’ 


The character of Grace is somewhat mysterious, her truth never quite clarified. Director Sarah Polley says, ‘I’d never read a character that complex, a woman or a man.’ Hailed as ‘electrifying’ by Entertainment Weekly, star Sarah Gadon leads the cast as the unreliable narrator, accompanied by True Blood‘s Anna Paquin and Game of Thrones‘ Kerr Logan. Of Gadon, Polley says:


She has an old-soul quality that you needed for Grace. She can do very delicate shifts of emotion, even when listening or reacting, even when being still. Her face is very emotionally transparent. It’s like water, with little shifts under the surface.


I absolutely cannot wait to watch this, so much so that I may commit the cardinal sin of watching an adaptation prior to reading the book. I’m a slow reader with a to-read list the length of my entire body, I’m not going to get to read it AND watch the show in time to join in all the lively discussion with my peers. I CAN’T MISS OUT ON THAT SWEET, SWEET DISCUSSION. 


Featured Image Via Entertainment Weekly 

Feature image is a still from the show, which shows Grace Marks being held by the police.

The First Trailer for Margaret Atwood’s “Alias Grace” Has Dropped

We finally have our first glimpse at the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “Alias Grace.”


An image of the title "Alias Grace" under Margaret Atwood's name. The background is orange and on either side is an outline of a woman.

Image courtesy of A Creative Canada


Based on a true story, the series takes place in Canada in 1843. It will star Sarah Gadon as Grace Marks, who’s been accused of killing both her employer and his housekeeper. The show is written by Sarah Polley, and helmed by “American Psycho” director, Mary Harron.


“Alias Grace” will premier on Canada’s CBC on September 24, and will come to Netflix in the fall.


Featured image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.