How was I not informed? Harper Collins is publishing six reimaginings of Austen's novels by six contemporary authors. So, for example, Joanna Trollope has written a new version of Sense and Sensibility that takes place in the twenty-first century (I understand there are iPads involved).
I am always interested in reimaginings of classic works, although I'm not sure why it was necessary to hire authors for this specific task -- after all, Cathleen Schine and Allegra Goodman already rewrote Sense and Sensibility last year without even being asked! Does the world really need three twenty-first century versions of this novel?
That said, of course I'll read it. Trollope seems to be a good fit for Austen, and I'm downright excited to see Val McDermid's take on Northanger Abbey. (In my view, Northanger Abbey is far and away the worst of Austen's novels, so I might find myself preferring McDermid's version.) I'm less enthused to see that Curtis Sittenfield is taking on Pride and Prejudice, and slightly ill at the idea of the terribly twee Alexander McCall Smith being given custody of my beloved Emma.
Mansfield Park and Persuasion have yet to be assigned. If I were in control of the publishing universe, Jeanette Winterson would be adapting Mansfield Park and Valerie Martin would handle Persuasion. (Martin is probably not a big enough name, but she should be.) Here's hoping Harper Collins resists the temptation to hand them over to J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer.