Margaret Atwood writes fan fiction … of Shakespeare
Regular readers of these pages will know that as a pretty big fan of Atwood’s I might expect people to write fan fiction based on her worlds and characters, and yet her latest work, Hag Seed, is itself a take on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest‘, part of a series being produced by Hogarth Shakespeare.
The author herself is interested in Shakespeare to the point that she seems somewhat incredulous when I ask what his appeal is to her, personally. “Oh come on, what a question. His multiplicity, his ability to understand human beings… his theatricality,” she says. “Quite often with Shakespeare you read it on the page and think, this will never work. But with few exceptions the plays are extremely performable.”
Of course whilst we might look down on fan fiction – and I often do – we could, and Atwood suggests, that Shakespeare himself was guilty of writing fan fiction of other, older classics. And it’s a fair point.
You can read the full interview with Atwood here.
And if you’re interested in finding out more about Hogarth’s series of novels by a stellar cast of writers which are, essentially, fan fiction of Shakespeare’s works, get over to Penguin for a list of current and upcoming titles.