Random House's Hogarth Asking Novelists to Write Prose Versions of Shakespeare's Plays

Posted on June 29, 2013

The Guardian reports that Random House's Hogarth imprint is launching a major new Shakespeare project. The Hogarth Shakespeare project has commissioned bestselling novelists to reinvent Shakespeare's plays as novels. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Anne Tyler will write Taming of the Shrew and Jeannette Winterson will write The Winter's Tale.

Hogarth is going international for this one and is publishing the works with partners in Canada, Spain, South Africa and India. The works will be released on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016. Hogarth explained the thinking behind the project as having new versions of the plays which "will be true to the spirit of the original dramas and their popular appeal, while giving authors an exciting opportunity to reinvent these seminal works of English literature".

So how much leeway will the authors have in interpreting the Bard? Clara Farmer, publishing director at Hogarth, told The Guardian, "We're very much leaving it up to the imaginations of the authors. We have talked with them about following the spirit of the plays, but it isn't helpful for them to have to paint by numbers. We want them to bring all of their imaginations and different points of view ..."

Farmer told The Guardian that they are interested in hearing from authors willing to take on the project. She said that people are more interested in doing the comedies and that "We need people to step up for the tragedies."
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