Pride and Prejudice Rewritten by US Author
Jane Austen’s much loved ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has received a 21st century update at the hands of American author Curtis Sittenfeld. The novel, titled ‘Eligible’, revises Austen’s classic with the inclusion of modern details.
Austen’s love story has been reworked for an audience who are likely to be more familiar with selfies and fitness than petticoats and ballroom dancing. Sittenfeld has also switched the location of the action, exchanging rural England for the bustling streets of New York City, where Elizabeth and Jane both live, and the Bennet family home in Cincinnati. The original characters from Austen’s novel remain, and their essential characteristics are translated into modern habits; Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs and Mary is busy earning her third online Master’s degree. Mrs. Bennet’s goals, it seems, have not changed – she’s still anxious about marrying off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday is approaching quickly.
Released on the 21st of April, the novel has already received critical acclaim. Booklist praised the novel as: “a delightful romp for not only Austen devotees but also lovers of romantic comedies and sly satire, as well.”
Critics have also predicted that the novel will be one of this summer’s bestsellers, as female readers face still similar pressures today as in Austen’s time. Sittenfeld, like Austen, tackles issues of gender, class, family and courtship.
Are you planning to read the novel? How do you feel about it being updated in this way? We’d love to know your thoughts – please leave us a comment below.
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