The following list pairs contemporary literary adaptations or responses to earlier women's writings with the originals.

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Compiled by Stacy Hubbard from the discussion on SSAWW-L; contributions are by SSAWW-L participants.


The Bedford Anthology of American Literature, Vols I & II. Eds. Susan Belasco and Linck Johnson .(contains many contemporary adaptations and responses to earlier works)

John Smith’s and John Rolfe’s accounts of Pocahontas/Matoaka with Michele Ciff’s “No Telephone to Heaven” and excerpts from Paula Gunn Allen’s biography of Pocahontas

William Bradford’s texts with Sophie Cabot Black’s Arguments (poems about the landing of the Mayflower from the perspective of Bradford’s wife)

Mary Rowlandson’s Narrative together with Louise Erdrich’s “Captivity” and Sherman Alexie’s“Captivity,” or Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Club, or Angela Carter’s “Our Ladyof the Massacre” (Carter would also go with Moll Flanders or Hannah Swarton)

Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” with Denise Duhamel’s 1995 “My First Book Of Poetry Was Like My First Baby”

Phillis Wheatley’s poems with James Richardson’s “On Seeing Your Portrait, Phillis Wheatley” (Callaloo 22:4, 1999, p. 975) or June Jodan’s “Something Like a Sonnet for Phillis Miracle Wheatley”

“The Sot-Weed Factor” (Ebeneezer Cook) with John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor

James Seaver’s Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison with Deborah Larsen’s The White, or Lois Lenski’s children’s book, Indian Captive, or Louise Erdrich’s “Captivity”

The Scarlet Letter together with Maryes Conde’s I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, or John Updike’s “S,” or Suzan Lori-Parks’s “F***ing A” or “In the Blood,” or Bharati Mukherjee’s The Holder of the World

“The Raven” together with Bart Simpson’s version of the poem

“I Hear America Singing” together with Langston Hughes’s “I, Too Sing America” and Allison Hedge Coke’s “ America, I Sing You Back”; “Song of Myself” together with Sharon Olds’s “The Language of the Brag” and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl; Whitman’s Specimen Days with Michael Cunningham’s

Specimen Days; any Whitman with Visiting Walt anthology of poetic responses ( U. of Iowa Press)

Benito Cereno with Mohsin Hamid’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” or Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage

Moby Dick with Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage, or Sena Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife

Poe’s “The Black Cat” together with Joyce Carol Oates’s “The White Cat” (also see Oates’s rewrites of "The Dead,” “The Lady with the Pet Dog,” and The Turn of the Screw)

Walden together with Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Club, or Lars Eighner’s Travels with Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and On the Streets

Emily Dickinson’s poems with Susan Howe, or the Visiting Emily anthology of poetic responses (U. of Iowa Press)

Huckleberry Finn together with Nancy Rawles’s My Jim, or Jon Clinch’s Finn

Little Women and Hospital Sketches together with Geraldine Brooks’s March, or Katharine Weber’s The Little Women

David Walker’s Appeal with Rita Dove’s “David Walker”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin together with Richard Wright’s Uncle Tom’s Children, or Toni Morrison’s Beloved, or Robert Alexander’s play, I Ain’t Yo Uncle: The New Jack Revisionist Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The Yellow Wallpaper with Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s “The Defeated Life” (available on Oakes Smith website) and Susan Brown Robbins’s “The Boveopathic Sanitorium” (reprinted in Studies in A merican Humor, n.s. 3:6, 1999 along with Ellen Gruber Garvey’s article on it)

“The Revolt of Mother” (Mary Wilkins Freeman) with Nina Sutherland Purdy’s “Mothering, the Story of a Revolt” (reprinted in Legacy 26:1, 2009 with Ellen Gruber Garvey’s article on it)

The Custom of the Country with Candace Bushnell’s Marrying Up

The Great Gatsby with Toni Morrison’s Jazz

As I Lay Dying with Suzan Lori-Parks’s Getting Mother’s Body

Langston Hughes’s Jazzonia and Weary Blues with Toni Morrison’s Jazz

Native Son with Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying, or Percival Everett’s Erasure

Gone with the Wind with Margaret Walker’s Jubilee and Alice Randall’s Wind Done Gone

The Crucible with Maryse Conde’s I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem

Lolita with Pia Pera’s Lo’s Diary

Sylvia Plath’s poems with Elizabeth Alexander’s Antebellum Dream Book

The Bell Jar with Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha

The Catcher in the Rye with J.D. California’s 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye (published in Britain only)



Hamlet with John Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius

Jane Eyre with Jean Rhys’s The Wide Sargasso Sea

Mrs. Dalloway with Michael Cunningham’s The Hours

M. Butterfly with John Luther Long’s Madam Butterfly

“Leda and the Swan” with H.D.’s “Leda,” Mona van Duyn’s “Leda” and Luci Tapahonso’s “Leda and the




Roughing It in the Bush (Susanna Moodie) with Margaret Atwood’s poems, Journal of Susanna Moodie



The Odyssey with Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad and the film, “O, Brother Where Art Thou?”



Allen, Graham. Intertextuality.

Barth, John. “Historical Fiction, Fictitious History,” “The Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs,” and “About Aboutness” from The Friday Book.

Chandler, Daniel. Semiotics for Beginners.

Cohen, Keith. Film and Fiction: The Dynamics of Exchange.

Gussman, Deborah: syllabus on fairytales and biblical texts at

Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation.

Kline, Karen. “The Accidental Tourist on Page and on Screen: Interrogating Normative Theories about Film Adaptation.” Literature/Film Quarterly (24:1), 1996. 70-83.

McFarlane, Brian. Novel to Film: An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation.

Sanders, Julia. Adaptation and Appropriation
Address e-mail to Donna Campbell, campbelld at wsu dot edu .