Waterstones News Update: Novelists Rewrite Shakespeare

Shakespeare Play Rewrites

Waterstones news update: some of the world’s bestselling authors have been enlisted to rewrite Shakespeare‘s plays, taking into account the modern world.

Anne Tyler and Jeanette Winterson whose names have been made through the novels Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Digging to America, The Accidental Tourist (Tyler) and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Sexing The Cherry and Written On The Body (Winterson) respectively were announced earlier this year as taking part in the Hogarth Shakespeare project. Tyler will take on The Taming of the Shrew while Winterson will look at The Winter’s Tale. Now two more authors have been announced; Howard Jacobson and Margaret Atwood.

These four authors, as well as more that will be announced gradually, have been set the task of rewriting some of William Shakespeare’s plays. The novels will be released in 2016, the 400th anniversary of the much-celebrated Bard’s death. As one of the greatest playwrights of all time, any author who is worth their weight in salt lives in constant awe of his abilities and those who have been set the task have expressed the humbling nature of the request.

Waterstones News Update

Jacobson, a novelist awarded The Man Booker Prize in 2010 for his book The Finkler Question will be tackling Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. With a footnote reminding his fans that he is of Jewish orientation it is worth noting that this may well be one of the most intriguing rewrites offered up by the Hogarth project. Jacobson has said of his role within the project that it is most likely that Shakespeare never met a Jew and major events in the religion’s history – the Holocaust to name but one – had not occurred when Shakespeare was writing.

This leads the characters’ perspectives to be jaded in different ways, for each comment to be weighted differently and perhaps for different conclusions to be drawn. He has said that he aims to tackle the biggest issues offered up by the book.

As for Atwood, she has been set the task of the much loved play The Tempest. As with all of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest comes with a little bit of everything – laughter, drama, romance and politics. Atwood, famous for her novels The Blind Assassin and The Handmaid’s Tale will, like all of the other authors, be asked to rewrite one of her personal favourites in way that stays true to the original script. This does not mean she will be restricted though, all the authors will be granted the chance to add their own personal touches to the stories.

The big question will revolve around whether it is possible to tell the same stories in a totally different world where every reference carries a new and different charge – how will these new stories impact upon the world?

If you’re interested in finding out, all of the novels will be available at Waterstones stores across the country. To find out where your nearest one is, call the Waterstones phone number and speak with a member of their customer services department.

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