A number of recent novels owe bows of appreciation to the authors of classic literature. Borrow the contemporary novel and then rediscover a classic inspiration.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Returning with her sister to their Ohio hometown when their father falls ill, a big-city magazine editor confronts challenges in the form of her younger sister’s antics, a creepy cousin’s unwanted attentions and the infuriatingly aloof manners of a handsome neurosurgeon.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Miss Bennet play out a spirited courtship in a series of 18th century drawing-room intrigues.
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
Newly involved in her life, a father takes his daughter to Lithuania, his grandmother’s homeland, when the girl suffers a terrifying psychotic break.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)
Autobiographical novel recounts the story of an ambitious and brilliant young woman’s search for values and her eventual breakdown.
Nelly Dean by Alison Case
Life at Wuthering Heights is reimaged through the eyes of the Earnshaw’s loyal servant, a young woman who suffers heartache, betrayal and sacrifice.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)
An orphan boy and the daughter of the wealthy family that takes him in are drawn together from the moment they meet.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
Once upon a time in a world just like ours, when reason subsided and the loudest, most narrow-minded voices ruled, a battle for the kingdom was waged throughout the world for 1,001 nights.
Stories from the Arabian Nights
Scheherazade tells tales to amuse the cruel sultan and stop him from executing her as he has his other wives.
Euphoria by Lily King
An English anthropologist, alone in the field for several years, is haunted by memories and on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with a controversial colleague pulls him back from the brink.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)
A sailor journeys into the heart of the Belgian Congo in search of a mysterious trader in an adventure that examines the intent and effects of colonization.
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
When his son falls for the daughter of a right-wing icon, a long-suffering professor from a liberal New England arts college is thrown into cultural and personal conflict.
Howard’s End by E.M. Forster (1910)
In Edwardian England, two well-educated sister find different ways to deal with the constraints of society.
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
The story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother, and the impact of his childhood brain tumor, touches on everything from family violence to dealing with intense trauma.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (1916)
A young man growing up in Dublin struggles with religious and personal guilt after an aesthetic awakening.
Us by David Nicholls
When his wife tells him she wants a divorce, a mild-mannered man decides to join her and their son on a month-long tour of Europe to experience great works of art.
The Ambassadors by Henry James (1903)
Sent to Paris by a wealthy matron to retrieve her son, an American man is sidetracked by intriguing complications.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
The ambitious father of a socially awkward young woman, about to lose his equally socially inept research assistant due to visa problems, comes up with a plan to marry his daughter to the young scientific genius.
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (1594)
A brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel tempers his wealthy, shrewish wife.
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
A young orphan fights for her life, fleeing a grim school and leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her as she takes a position as governess for the new master of her childhood home.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)
A young governess is attracted to her brooding, wealthy employer and his strange behavior leads her to discover a terrible secret he hoped to hide from her forever.
April 21, 2017