Four notable ‘Pride and Prejudice’ retellings
Writers have been able to translate Pride and Prejudice to multiple settings and time periods. Here are four recent retellings of note:
“Pride,” Ibi Zoboi
In this young-adult update of “Pride and Prejudice,” Zuri Benitez, a proud teenager from a working-class Afro-Latino family in Brooklyn, takes an immediate dislike to Darius, son of the bougie Darcys who fix up the mansion across the street. The book explores gentrification and classicism in a diverse neighborhood and cleverly updates elements of the original novel. Much of Zuri’s innermost thoughts are expressed through poetry.
“Ayesha at Last,” Uzma Jalaluddin
This enjoyable retelling is set in a Muslim community in modern-day Toronto. Ayesha is a poet and teacher who is always helping out her flaky cousin Hafsa. Khalid is a conservative Muslim who dresses in robes and believes his mother will arrange a wise match for him. When Hafsa ditches on a project to help their mosque, Ayesha and Khalid are thrown together, and fireworks fly. This book, which isn’t available in the states yet, is a great adaptation of P&P into another culture.
“First and Then,” Emma Mills
What happens if “Pride and Prejudice” meet “Friday Night Lights”? You get this YA book. Devon is a Jane Austen-loving teenager who butts heads with football hero Ezra during gym class. When her cousin joins the football team and befriends Ezra, Devon’s and Ezra’s paths can’t help but cross. Is Ezra as arrogant as Devon thinks? While not a straight retelling of “Pride and Prejudice,” this book contains a few Austen shout-outs, and the chemistry between Devon and Ezra make for a fun, and often touching, read.
“Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe,” Melissa de la Cruz
This retelling gender=swaps the main characters: Darcy, a high-powered female executive, returns to her family home for the holidays and has a one-night stand with hometown carpenter Luke Bennet, whose siblings are unambitious. This is a good read during the holidays.