Never heard of this until my wonderful husband bought me one of them!! Looks like quite an interesting project...
Alexander McCall Smith to rewrite Jane Austen's Emma
Author of No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series joins Joanna Trollope, Val McDermid and Curtis Sittenfeld on project to rework Austen's oeuvre for a modern audiencehttp://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/07/alexander-mccall-smith-jane-austen-emma
Mr Woodhouse has an obsession with vitamin pills, Jane Fairfax plays the tenor saxophone and Frank Churchill has been living in Australia: meet the cast of the modern-day Emma, which is to be rewritten for the social media generation by Alexander McCall Smith.
McCall Smith, best known for his No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, is one of four writers so far on board to rework Jane Austen's novels with a contemporary twist as part of a project to open up the stories for modern sensibilities.
"One of the issues, of course, is the erotic tension that pervades the original novel Emma," said McCall Smith. "That is there in large measure and will remain there in my version. And Freud will be looking over my shoulder as I write. I can't wait to begin my encounter with these delicious characters. On which subject, I have great sympathy for Mr Woodhouse. The original felt very anxious about draughts; my Mr Woodhouse is extremely interested in vitamins."
Austen, famed for her sharp social observation, completed six novels in all. Her debut, Sense and Sensibility, first published in 1811 under the pseudonym "A Lady" and featuring the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, has been reimagined by Joanna Trollope in a version to be published by HarperCollins later this month.
"Elinor Dashwood, an architecture student, values discretion above all. Her impulsive sister Marianne displays her creativity everywhere as she dreams of going to art school," runs the cover description.
Queen of psychological thrillers Val McDermid is rewriting Northanger Abbey, about the gothic novel-obsessed Catherine Morland. In her version, Catherine visits the Edinburgh book festival, and the titular gothic mansion is situated in the Scottish borders. On the cover of the book, to be published in spring 2014, Northanger Abbey sports a CCTV camera and satellite TV dishes.
The American writer Curtis Sittenfeld, whose most recent novel, Sisterland, is about prescient identical twins, is reworking Pride and Prejudice for a 21st century version to be published in autumn 2014.
Writers for Mansfield Park and Persuasion, the two remaining Austen novels, will be announced later this year.