Shakespeare's plays to be retold by novelists
Hogarth, part of Random House publishers, has announced an ambitious international project to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

Hogarth, the Random House transatlantic fiction imprint, has today announced an international project that aims to bring Shakespeare to a wider contemporary audience. The project, titled The Hogarth Shakespeare, will ask bestselling novelists throughout the world to retell his work in a more accessible prose form.

So far, two authors have signed up. The novelist and BAFTA award winning screen-writer Jeanette Winterson OBE has chosen The Winter's Tale, a play close to her heart: ‘All of us have talismanic texts that we have carried around and that carry us around. I have worked with The Winter’s Tale in many disguises for many years. This is a brilliant opportunity to work with it in its own right."

Anne Tyler will join Winterson on Hogarth’s new endeavour and has chosen The Taming of the Shrew. The Pulitzer prize winner said: "I don’t know which I’m looking forward to more: ‘Delving into the mysteries of shrewish Kate or finding out what all the other writers do with their Shakespeare characters.’"

Charles and Mary Lamb’s attempt in the 18th century to re-imagine the plays for a larger audience has been (and continues to be) enormously successful and popular with children. In 2007, Tales from Shakespearewas published both as a Penguin Classic and as a Collectable book illustrated by Joelle Joviet.

However, many feel that, by altering the form of Shakespeare’s plays, the complex poetic language will inevitably be lost. The accessibility of Shakespeare might be enhanced, but has an integral part of the experience of reading one of his plays been removed?



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