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Literary prequels

I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Or was it Miss Havisham’s house?

in Fiction by

The time is ripe for backstories and sequels. We can’t get enough of extending a beloved story as far as possible. No, not the latest Hobbit movie, or the long-heralded return of the Star Wars saga in 2015; I’m talking about the perennial draw of literary updates. There are many fraught questions to consider when modernizing a classic: how true will this be to the original when it comes to chronology, voice, incident, and character? Will it be history, future story (sequel), or deeper, contemporaneous story? How much is invented, and are any additions warranted? Is the new interpretation relevant, contemporary, and believable? In sum, is this new version necessary? In my view, it must either add something to the…

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