The Borough Press has acquired a collection of short stories inspired by Charlotte Brontë, edited by Tracy Chevalier.
Authors contributing stories for the collection, Reader, I Married Him, include Helen Dunmore, Susan Hill and Emma Donoghue. Each will use Brontë's famous line from Jane Eyre as a starting point for an original story.
Katie Espiner, publisher of The Borough Press, signed world rights in the anthology in a deal with Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
The book will be published in spring 2016, marking Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary year. Chevalier is also curating an exhibition at The Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire, where Bronte and her siblings lived.
She said: "Charlotte Brontë emerged from the most unlikely of places – a small parsonage in an isolated Yorkshire village – to become a celebrated author in an era when women were not encouraged to express themselves publicly or to be ambitious. Women writers owe her and her sisters a lot for kicking open that door. I want to celebrate her achievement by giving today’s writers an opportunity to riff on Charlotte’s most famous line. I expect the results to be startling and entertaining!"
Espiner added: "When Tracy first started talking about the anthology, I knew it was something we wanted to publish. Jane Eyre’s words are arguably among the best-known ever spoken in English literature, and I am excited to see the 21st century interpretation these brilliant women will bring."
Today (21st April) is the 199th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth.