Val McDermid to Revisit Northanger Abbey

7th Aug 2012


Exciting news for all Jane Austen and Val McDermid fans, particularly for those who occupy the space where the two overlap (a significant area in this imaginary Venn diagram).

Harper Collins have commissioned three contemporary authors to rework classic Austen novels:

Joanna Trollope will take on Sense and Sensibility, with the book anticipated in 2013. Curtis Sittenfeld will rework Pride and Prejudice. McDermid’s take on Northanger Abbey will be the third book of the series, expected early 2014.

Gothic–novel obsessed teen, Catherine Morland is bound to face a 21st century Northanger Abbey filled with even more terror and suspense at the hands of one of the most accomplished crime writers in contemporary fiction. McDermid has promised to add a heightened ‘frisson of fear’ to the narrative of Austen’s most misunderstood text.

Which Jane Austen novel would be your pick for a re-write? And who would be your contemporary writer of choice to go about the job?

Mekella Broomberg

(Image via cwasteson)


  • Lauren says:

    I don’t think I like this news, especially as there are so many takes on Austen novels already. I recently (and unashamedly) read ‘Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rockstar’, which was Pride and Prejudice set in the modern day music industry and filled with lots and lots of graphic sexual scenes.

    It’s great that Northanger Abbey is being reworked because it doesn’t get as much press as it deserves, but maybe it’s best to just leave Austen as Austen?

    • Mekella says:

      Every time I hear there’s going to be a film version of a book I love, my heart sinks, so I know just what you mean. Occasionally ‘re-visions’ work, on their own terms. Are you suspicious of any reworking of classics or is Northanger Abbey a particular favourite, Lauren?