Thursday, May 01, 2014

Ten top novels inspired by Shakespeare

Sally O'Reilly has received numerous citations for her fiction, which has been shortlisted for the Ian St James Short Story Prize and the Cosmopolitan Short Story Award. A former Cosmopolitan New Journalist of the Year, her work has appeared in the Guardian, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard, and the New Scientist. She teaches creative writing at the Open University and the University of Portsmouth in England. Dark Aemilia is her U.S. debut.

At the Guardian, O'Reilly shared her top ten novels inspired by Shakespeare, including:
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (King Lear)

Smiley retells the story of King Lear in modern-day Iowa in her Pulitzer-prizewinning novel. The novel is set on a thousand-acre farm which is owned by a father and his three daughters, and told from the point of view of the oldest, Ginny. Instead of dismissing the two older daughters as wicked and grasping, as Shakespeare does, in her novel Smiley explores the family secrets that underpin the drama, and shows the significance of the land itself.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Thousand Acres is among Alexia Nader's nine favorite books about unhappy families and John Mullan's top ten twice-told tales.

Also see: the greatest Shakespeare homages and cover versions in science fiction and fantasy and Matt Haig's top ten list of novels influenced by Shakespeare.

--Marshal Zeringue