I am a fan of Jane Austen’s work. I have read most of her books at least twice and Pride and Prejudice more than dozen times. Despite my great love for Lizzie, Darcy and rest of the gang, I never could quite saw myself in the Regency world of Longbourn and Pemberley. This year, three writers of color are taking on the task of retelling Pride And Prejudice. I am so excited. Austen has gotten colorized!
First up on the list is
Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
AYESHA SHAMSI has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.
When a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. But Khalid is also wrestling with what he believes and what he wants. And he just can’t get this beautiful, outspoken woman out of his mind.
On Sale: 06/12/2018
Next on the list is
Pride by Ibi Zebui
Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.
When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.
But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.
In a timely update of Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.
On Sale 09/18/2018
Last, but not least is
UnMarriageable by Soniah Kamal
This was pitched as a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice set in modern Pakistan and reimagining Lizzie Bennett as a teacher who uses the literature of Jane Austen and others to show her students there is more to life than marriage. I am not quite sure when this book will come out. However, it’s being published by Random House so will keep an eye.
On Sale Fall 2018
So different three writers of color retelling a well-known classic. But their perspective might give us all chance to fall in love with Austen all over again. And that’s a joy I look forward to.