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The Hunger Games


The Hunger Games

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Background

Collins has said that the inspiration for The Hunger Games came from channel surfing on television. On one channel she observed people competing on a reality show and on another she saw footage of the invasion of Iraq. The two "began to blur in this very unsettling way" and the idea for the book was formed. The Greek myth of Theseus served as a major basis for the story, with Collins describing Katniss as a futuristic Theseus, and Roman gladiatorial games provided the framework. The sense of loss that Collins developed through her father's service in the Vietnam War was also an influence on the story, with Katniss having lost her father at age 11, five years before the story begins. Collins stated that the deaths of young characters and other "dark passages" were the most difficult parts of the book to write, but that she had accepted that passages such as these were necessary to the story. She considered the moments where Katniss reflects on happier moments in her past to be more enjoyable.


Suzanne Collins

Bestselling author Suzanne Collins first made her mark in children’s literature with the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles series for middle grade readers. Her debut for readers aged 12 and up, The Hunger Games (September 2008), immediately became a New York Times bestseller, appealing to both teen readers and adults. It was called “addictive” by Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly, and “amazing” by Stephenie Meyer on her website, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2008 and a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Catching Fire (September 2009), the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy, debuted at #1 on the USA Today bestseller list and simultaneously appeared at #1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. It was named a Time Magazine Top Ten Fiction Book of 2009, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a People Magazine (Top 10) Best Book of 2009.

The final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay (August 2010), debuted at No. 1 on all national bestseller lists during its first week on sale. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said it “accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level.” In April 2010, Suzanne Collins was named to the TIME 100 list of “the world’s most influential people.”

The Hunger Games movie opens on March 23, 2012. Produced by Lionsgate Films and directed by Gary Ross, the movie stars Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), and Liam Hemsworth (Gale).


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