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Monday News: HarperCollins recruits superstar authors to reimagine Jane...

*The article incorrectly states that EL James was self published when in fact she was published through The Writers Coffeehouse. Forbes

Kansas City Lightning

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. Marianne McA
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 04:32:38

    Reworking Jane Austen. For why?

    I am intrigued to learn, however, that Joanna Trollope is an author of ‘global literary significance’.

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  2. Marianne McA
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 04:48:35

    Just to add, you could have fun with the idea.
    Which famous book would be best ‘reimagined’ by whom?

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary as reimagined by Richard Dawkins?
    Fifty Shades of Grey reimagined by Stephenie Meyer?

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  3. SAO
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 05:25:31

    I don’t get reworking Jane Austen. Her plots, if you boil them down to the plot, are pretty trite. P&P and Emma are basically Girl doesn’t appreciate great guy because he’s too arrogant. S&S, Persuasion and Mansfield Park might be summed up as be a lady and you’ll get the guy in the end. Sure, competent writers can do these plots and make an entertaining book.

    What makes Austen great is her intricate play on manners and morals and her sly sense of humor and I have trouble seeing any of the above-listed authors that I know capturing that.

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  4. Kaley
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 06:04:55

    We already have Stephenie Meyer’s version of Fifty Shades of Grey: it’s called Twilight- LOL. Seriously, I’m not a fan of all this reimagining: I love the original works, although I did think Clueless was cute.

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  5. DS
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 07:00:53

    Having watched all of Wire in the Blood and read several of her books I cannot imagine what Val McDermid is going to do to Northanger Abbey. If I am offered an ARC I am going to jump at it.

    I could even see McCall Smith doing a decent job with Emma. My favorite of his series is the one involving the hapless Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld.

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  6. AMK
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 07:11:39

    Re: modern versions of Emma, I think Pemberley Digital’s (of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries fame) new web series starts today. It’s called Emma Approved.

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  7. Patricia Eimer
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 07:59:04

    Val McDermid is redoing Northhanger Abbey? I’m not normally a readaptation girl but even I can get behind that.

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  8. Caro Kinkead
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 08:36:18

    @Marianne McA:

    Fifty Shades of Grey reimagined by Stephenie Meyer?

    Okay, coffee on keyboard first thing in the morning not what I had in mind. :)

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  9. Jinni
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 08:55:20

    I’m still mad at Prep author Curtis Sittenfeld for her purposeful conflation of African American hair and pubic hair. I’ve never forgiven that.

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  10. Amanda
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 09:22:21

    There are already plenty of reimagined Jane Austin out there. There is some horrible stuff and some great stuff like For Darkness Shows the Stars but I don’t see the need in going to a great effort to produce even more.

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  11. AlexaB
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 13:10:44

    Curtis Sittenfeld and Pride and Prejudice?! I can’t imagine a greater mismatch. No, thank you.

    (I wonder if this review: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/05/books/review/05SITT01.html will come back to bite Sittenfeld, since P&P, at its most basic, is a rom com about a young woman’s search for love – in other words, the spiritual ancestor of “chick lit.”)

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  12. Jackie Barbosa
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 13:38:03

    Regarding whether or not Fifty Shades of Grey was self-published…

    Many people feel that because it was published as fan fiction, that qualifies the initial distribution of the work as “self-published.” I’m not sure I agree with that assessment (does posting something on a fan fiction site qualify as “publishing” a book?), but it’s not an entirely unreasonable assertion, either.

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  13. Ros
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 16:52:36

    @AlexaB: It seemed to me that the point he was making in that article was that the content of the book didn’t determine whether it was chick lit, but the style:

    I’m as resistant as anyone else to the assumption that because a book’s author is female and because that book’s protagonist is a woman who actually cares about her own romantic future, the book must fall into the chick-lit genre. So it’s not that I find Bank’s topic lightweight; it’s that Bank writes about it in a lightweight way.

    I assume that he does Jane Austen the credit of recognising that her style is not chick lit or lightweight. For myself, I’d also want to argue strongly that Pride and Prejudice is not, at its most basic, romantic comedy. Its plot could be construed that way, but a book is more than its plot. The same plot can be written as rom com, horror, literary novel etc. I’d say that Pride and Prejudice better fits the genre of morality tale than romantic comedy.

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  14. Miss Jen
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 20:17:42

    Got to add to the Val McDermid love. Saw Wire In the Blood on Netflix, immediately went out and bought every book in the series I could find, and have been in word-love with her ever since. Excited for her version of Northanger Abbey.

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  15. AlexaB
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 00:20:42

    @Ros:

    Curtis Sittenfeld is female.

    I’m just not big on using “chick lit” – or romance, or women’s fiction – as a pejorative. Jennifer Weiner does a great, if snarktastic, interpretation of Sittenfeld’s review: http://jenniferweiner.blogspot.com/2005/06/in-between-unloading-my-galleys-and.html
    (keeping in mind this was 2005 and chick lit was the height of its popularity).

    If P&P merely commented on the mores of the gentry/bourgeoisie in Regency England, today it would be little more than a title taught in the more obscure British literature university courses, like the novels of Maria Edgeforth. So while of course P&P is a morality tale (among many other things), it stays relevant today in part because Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s misunderstandings helped to establish the tropes upon which a thousand romantic comedies have been built. So I’m rather enjoying the irony of Sittenfeld tackling the novel that birthed one of the original chick lit heroines, Bridget Jones.

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