Ah, the agony and ecstasy of being a librarian–surrounded by all the books I could ever hope to read and no time to read them. My TBR (to be read) pile grows ever larger, placed into peculiar thematically linked sub-piles. My latest batch of reads was from a sub-pile rich in literature re-imagined. Some were classics recast in a different time and place, some were classics retold with a different pen.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio: Sort of a Shakespeare medley meets murder mystery, played out by theater school students in a bucolic private school in Illinois. The students act in the same roles offstage as they do onstage, blurring the line between fantasy and reality, and making for a very dramatic King Lear.
Bright Air Black by David Vann: The myth of Medea gruesomely yet lovingly retold by the author of the gutwrenching Aquarium.
Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou: Described as “Oliver Twist set in 1970s Africa”. Marvelous!
Taduno’s Song by Odafe Atogun: A “Kafkaesque” Orpheus and Eurydice set in Nigeria. Oh my word.
Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood: A joyful and funny retelling of The Tempest starring a cast of prisoners taking an acting class, acting out The Tempest.