Feb 17, 2021
From Zadie Smith’s new take on Howards End to Michael Cunningham’s reworked Virginia Woolf, these tales refresh books we thought we knew
It takes some audacity to retell a beloved classic. Classics, after all, endure for good reason; why mess with them? Plus, readers are often fiercely attached to the originals; why mess with them? When well done, though, retellings explore familiar themes with fresh eyes, deciphering a new world from the comfort of a trusted narrative, or expanding the literary canon to readers who have traditionally been excluded.
The writer faces an array of choices, all fraught: where is the line between honouring and exalting, borrowing and blighting? Which elements are essential, and which can be discarded? Continue reading...