Literary Hub recommends the best Bard reimaginings

Last week Literary Hub ran an article “On Reimagining the Infinite Dramatic Scope of Shakespeare and His Immortal Characters,” in which Kathryn Barker recommended “five cracking titles that rework the Bard’s famous plays.”

It will come as no surprise to fans of John Updike that Gertrude and Claudius made the list. Of Updike’s imaginative historical novel, Barker wrote, “Shakespeare’s play Hamlet kicks off with a powder-keg dynamic for its titular character—his father is dead and his mother has married his uncle. But how did things get so complicated? In Gertrude and Claudius, Updike explores the lives of Hamlet’s mother, father, and uncle before the Prince of Denmark vowed his revenge and took center stage. A prequel that ends just after the start of Shakespeare’s play, this ambitious novel gives insights into characters who—in the original text—were largely supporting.”

Other novels that made the list: I, Iago by Nicole Galland; Ophelia by Lisa Klein; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard; and I Am Juliet, by Jackie French.

Barker might have included her own Waking Romeo, now available from Amazon, because it too is a retelling of a Shakespeare classic.

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