P.H. Newby’s The Picnic at Sakkara (1955)

P.H. Newby’s The Picnic at Sakkara (1955)

Newby’s Picnic At Sakkara is a comic novel set during political and international turmoil in Egypt.   At the time of Newby’s action around 1946-47, the British are still in control of the Suez Canal, the Farouk regime was wobbling, and Egyptian nationalism led by the...
John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951)

John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951)

Bill Masen and Josella Platon have survived the vicious triffids, mutant plants with a taste for human flesh and blood. Exhausted and desperate for safety, they are stranded in a ruined landscape of Southampton. Wistfully, they are waiting to escape to Isle of Wight,...
Martin Amis’ Dead Babies (1975)

Martin Amis’ Dead Babies (1975)

Appleseed Rectory in Amis’ Dead Babies alludes to Lindsay’s Appleyard College in Picnic at Hanging Rock. Like Lindsay’s picnic, Amis’ is a disaster. Though none of his Appleseeders dies, they are as the title suggests figuratively “dead babies.” The...
Larry Rivers’ Picnics (1985-1990)

Larry Rivers’ Picnics (1985-1990)

Rivers’ appreciation of Fernand Léger is expressed in two paintings, Picnic (1985) and The Pleasant Picnic (1990). Picnic closely follows Léger’s  La Partie de Champagne (The Country Outing)  (1952/53), showing a congenial group at the edge of a river or...
William Klein’s Fashion Models at a Picnic (1958)

William Klein’s Fashion Models at a Picnic (1958)

When Aaron Schuman asked Klein if he dreamed  in black and white, Klein shot back, “In black and white, of course.” But his photograph Tatiana + Marie Rose + Camels, Morocco, he had it both ways.  Featured Image:  William Klein. Tatiana + Marie Rose + Camels, Morocco,...

Fred Cress’ An Outing (1996)

Cress’ An Outing defies expectation. No one that I know has managed to project such a cantankerous couple on the grass. Cress is surely squinting at Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Maybe? Not happy! See Fred Cress. An Outing (1996)
James Hilton’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1934)

James Hilton’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1934)

Hilton’s romantic Goodbye, Mr. Chips describes the courtship of Chip and Katherine as being so brief that within a week of meeting, “they were head over heels in love” and married soon after. This is not what a filmmaker wants in a romantic tale. The consequence is...
Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)

Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)

Spark’s Brodie sometimes took the girls into the Marcia Blaine school garden for a lesson. But it was a lesson and not a picnic. But Ronald Neame’s film picnic with Jean Brodie and her girls is his own invention. For the film, Neame and screenwriter Jay Pressen...
P.D. James’ A Certain Justice (1987)

P.D. James’ A Certain Justice (1987)

Adam Dalgliesh takes a break during a murder investigation for a picnic. An hour south of Salisbury near Lulworth Cove, he stops. ” There was an out of rocks, and he sat with one at his back and gazed out over the coppices to the wide blue stretch of the...