“Brevity is the soul of wit,” wrote Shakespeare in a play that runs about four hours when performed in its entirety. Recognizing that the length and language of the Bard’s plays may be a deterrent to some, Hogarth Shakespeare has enlisted several authors to retell the Shakespeare’s plays as prose novels for a modern day audience. According to BBC News, Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn will be the one to question being or not being in an adaptation of Hamlet.
An exact publication date is not yet announced, but the series will launch in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. According to Flynn, “Hamlet has long been a fascination of mine: murder, betrayal, revenge, deceit, madness—all my favourite things. Add to that some of Shakespeare’s most intriguing, curious characters—from the titular brooding prince to rueful Ophelia—and what (slightly cheeky) writer wouldn’t be tempted to reimagine it?”
Elsewhere in the Hogarth Shakespeare series Margaret Atwood, Tracy Chevalier, Howard Jacobson, Jo Nesbo, Anne Tyler, and Jeanette Winterson will adapt The Tempest, Othello, The Merchant Of Venice, Macbeth, The Taming Of The Shrew, and The Winter’s Tale, respectively. According to Hogarth, “These new versions 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.”