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Sources: Karin Westman, 785-532-2190, westmank@k-state.edu;
and Rachel Parkin, 785-532-2162, parkin@k-state.edu
Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/chalc/
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009

K-STATE EXPERTS TO DISCUSS THE ALLURE, RESONANCE OF VAMPIRE LITERATURE LIKE 'NEW MOON'

MANHATTAN -- The film adaptation of author Stephenie Meyer's "New Moon" will be the focus of a discussion sponsored by Kansas State University's department of English and Children's and Adolescent Literature Community.

The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Room 213 at the K-State Student Union. Topics to be discussed include omissions, character interpretation and other significant changes between Meyer's book and the recently released movie "New Moon."

The movie "New Moon" is based on the second book in Meyer's popular "Twilight" vampire series about Bella Swan, a human teenager, and 104-year-old vampire Edward Cullen. In "New Moon," a third romantic character, Jacob, is developed further. The first book in the series, "Twilight," also was made into a movie. Themes from the series include love, immortality and the roles of free will and morality.

Karin Westman, head of K-State's department of English and adviser to the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community, said that film adaptations offer a great opportunity for readers to discuss how their experience of the work compares to the interpretations of the director, screenwriter and actors.

"The popularity of 'New Moon' and the 'Twilight' series means that there are lots of opinions to share," she said. "We're looking forward to a lively conversation."

Rachel Parkin, an English instructor and event co-organizer, said that the sexual tension present in both the novels and films seems to be connected to their popularity.

"Readers and moviegoers alike seem compelled by the stories' scintillating sexual tension and precarious levels of self control, and yet ultimately comforted by the knowledge that no premarital consummation will occur, an addicting phenomenon many have dubbed 'abstinence porn,'" she said.

Adriane Metcalf, graduate student in English, Merriam, and a discussion co-organizer, said that it's the richness of Meyer's characters that has attracted a varied audience.

"The multi-gendered and generational readership of the 'Twilight' series is a reminder that today's moviegoers and readers demand more than just a romantic plot in order to be satisfied," she said. "Meyer's novels combine action, drama and humor to create an investment in characters that keeps readers turning the pages and lining up at movie theaters."