Edward St Aubyn is to reimagine King Lear for the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
St Aubyn is the eighth author commissioned for the series, which will see Shakespeare’s plays retold by writers including Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Atwood and Howard Jacobson. Rachel Cugnoni, publishing director of Vintage, and Juliet Brooke, senior editor at Chatto & Windus and Hogarth, acquired world rights in all languages to St Aubyn’s novel from Gillon Aitken at Aitken Alexander Associates.
Brooke said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Edward St Aubyn to the list. He is a master at portraying the fault lines in family relationships with caustic precision. Who better to take on the ultimate family tragedy?”
St Aubyn is the author of the Patrick Melrose novels, published in the UK by Picador and in the US by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, which feature the self–destructive Patrick Melrose as he struggles variously with addiction, his family and his past. He also wrote Lost for Words (Picador), which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize last year.
Alexis Washam, executive editor at Hogarth US, said: “We are thrilled to have the inimitable Edward St Aubyn participating in the Hogarth Shakespeare. The razor-sharp psychological insight and unsparing wit that have made his work so widely admired and discussed are perfectly suited to a retelling of the timeless King Lear.”
The Hogarth Shakespeare series is led by Hogarth in the UK and the US.
The series will launch in October this year with the release of The Gap of Time, Winterson’s reinvention of The Winter’s Tale.
In 2016, the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, there will be a further three novels. Jacobson’s A Wilderness of Monkeys, released in February, is a reimagining of The Merchant of Venice, and Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl, out in June, is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. In October 2016 will come Margaret Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest, the title of which has yet to be announced.
The novels will be published simultaneously across the English-speaking world in print, digital and audio formats. Rights to the novels have already been sold in 11 countries, the latest being China and Russia, and the series will be published in 14 languages across 20 territories.
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