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Shakespeare Retold

As a massive Shakespeare nerd, April 23 is a holiday to me. It’s believed to be the date of Shakespeare's birth and is known to be the date of his death. But, as he writes himself in Sonnet 18, the written word gifts immortality. “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see/So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

Over the years, countless authors have given new life to Shakespeare’s works, which were themselves mostly retellings of older stories. Below is a small sampling of novels that are retellings of or loosely inspired by the Bard’s works.


King Lear: Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn; We That Are Young by Preti Taneja; The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Grafton
Hamlet: The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye; Undiscovered Country by L. L. Enger; Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Macbeth: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett; Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin; Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
Othello: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier; I, Iago by Nicole Galland; Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber
Romeo and Juliet: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong; Ramon and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson; Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
Julius Caesar: The Dogs of War By Frederick Forsyth


The Taming of the Shrew: Dating Dr. DIL by Nisha Sharma; Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker; A Midsummer Night's Scream by Jill Churchill
Twelfth Night: The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies; The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
The Merchant of Venice: Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson 
The Tempest: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood; The Porpoise by Mark Haddon; Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
The Winter's Tale: The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson; Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

Shakespeare Adjacent Titles

Shakespeare as a character: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell; Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell; The Quality of Mercy by Faye Kellerman; Kill Shakespeare by Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col, and Andy Belanger (also featuring characters from multiple plays)
Featuring Shakespeare's works: If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio; All's Well by Mona Awad; Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde; Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan; Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

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