Classics Retold

Classic novels rewritten for modern audiences and introduced to new generations of readers.
Updated September 19, 2022
Drag items up and down to your preferred order then select the "Save Order" button.
Madeline Miller
This #1 New York Times bestseller is a "bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story" that brilliantly reimagines the life of Circe, formidable sorceress of The Odyssey (Alexandra Alter, TheNew York Times). In the house of Helios,...
The fleshed-out story of Circe, a character from the Odyssey.
Ayesha At Last
Uzma Jalaluddin
As seen on The Today Show! One of the best summer romance picks! One of Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of 2019! A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love. Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of...
A modern day Muslim Pride & Prejudice
Boy, Snow, Bird
Helen Oyeyemi
As seen on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, where it was described as "gloriously unsettling... evoking Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Angela Carter, Edgar Allan Poe, Gabriel García Márquez, Chris Abani and even Emily Dickinson," and already one of the year's most...
The reimagined story of Snow White set in 1950s America.
On Beauty
Zadie Smith
Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was....
Loosely based on E.M. Forster's Howard's End, set in modern day U.K.
The Hours
Michael Cunningham
A daring, deeply affecting third novel by the author ofA Home at the End of the WorldandFlesh and Blood. InThe Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia...
Three women of different generations whose lives are interconnected by Mrs Dalloway.
Curtis Sittenfeld
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today....
A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Gregory Maguire
The New York Times bestseller and basis for the Tony-winning hit musical, soon to be a major motion picture starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande With millions of copies in print around the world, Gregory Maguire's Wicked is established not only as a commentary on...
An exploration of the characters & setting of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a lavish historical drama reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico. "This is...
A reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set in nineteenth-century Mexico.
Bridget Jones's Diary
Helen Fielding
"130 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds overnight? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier (repulsive, horrifying notion)); alcohol units 2 (excellent) cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow); number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but...
Roughly based on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Seth Grahame-Smith
TheNew York Timesbest selleris now a major motion picture starring Lily James and Sam Riley, with Matt Smith, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey. Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses,Pride and Prejudice and Zombies<...
Inspired, of course, by Pride & Prejudice.
Sansei and Sensibility
Karen Tei Yamashita
In these buoyant and inventive stories, Karen Tei Yamashita transfers classic tales across boundaries and questions what an inheritance--familial, cultural, emotional, artistic--really means. In a California of the sixties and seventies, characters examine the contents of deceased relatives'...
Inspired, of course, by Sense & Sensibility.
Ibi Zoboi
In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic. A smart, funny, gorgeous...
A retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in Brooklyn with a much more diverse cast of characters than the original.
Marissa Meyer
The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series! Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . ....
A futuristic retelling of Cinderella.
The Song of Achilles
Madeline Miller
A New York Times Bestseller "At once a scholar's homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art....A book I could not put down." --Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House A thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the...
Homer's Iliad as told from the perspective of the character Patroclus.
The Eyre Affair
Jasper Fforde
Great Britain circa 1985: time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. Baconians are trying to convince the world that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare, there are riots between the Surrealists and...
Set in an alternative 1985, where the protagonist pursues a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.
Meg and Jo
Virginia Kantra
The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. The March sisters-reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth-have grown up to pursue their separate dreams....
A modern retelling of Little Women.
Jane Steele
Lyndsay Faye
Nominated for the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel The reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer that The New York Times Book Review calls "wonderfully entertaining" and USA Today describes as "sheer mayhem meets Victorian propriety."  <...
A reimagining of Jane Eyre as a serial killer.
Lisa Klein
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! If you think you know Ophelia and Hamlet's story, think again... "A spellbinding tale of love, murder, and revenge." -- VOYA As ambitious and witty as she is beautiful, Ophelia is quick to catch the eye of the...
Tiger Lily
Jodi Lynn Anderson
In this stunning reimagining of J. M. Barrie's beloved classic Peter Pan, New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson expertly weaves a gripping tale of love, loss, and adventure. When fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan...
By the Book
Julia Sonneborn
An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college--and her new boss--in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen's classic Persuasion. Anne Corey is about to get schooled. An English...
A modern day version of Jane Austen's Persuasion.
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus
Margaret Atwood
"Homer's Odyssey is not the only version of the story. Mythic material was originally oral, and also local -- a myth would be told one way in one place and quite differently in another. I have drawn on material other than the Odyssey, especially for the details of Penelope's...
New Boy
Tracy Chevalier
Tracy Chevalier brings Shakespeare's Othello--a harrowing drama of jealousy and revenge--to a 1970s era elementary school playground.  Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat's son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day-...
A play on Shakespeare's Othello set in the 70s on a school playground.
Ian McEwan
New from the bestselling author of Atonement and The Children Act Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home--a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse--but John's not there. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude,...
The story of Hamlet narrated by a fetus in his mother's womb.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Tom Stoppard
A new, beautiful updated edition of Tom Stoppard's best-loved play and one of Grove Atlantic's bestselling backlist titles, published with a new introduction by Tom Stoppard to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its debut Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is...
Christopher Moore
"Hilarious, always inventive, this is a book for all, especially uptight English teachers, bardolaters, and ministerial students." --Dallas Morning News Fool--the bawdy and outrageous New York Times bestseller from the unstoppable Christopher Moore--is a hilarious new take on...
The story of King Lear's Fool
Geraldine Brooks
As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the war, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched...
Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys
The fortieth anniversary reissue of the best-selling "tour de force" (Walter Allen, New York Times Book Review).
A feminist prequel to Jane Eyre
Mr. Rochester
Sarah Shoemaker
"A CRACKING-GOOD READ!"-- People, Best New Books A deft and irresistible retelling of Charlotte Bronte´s beloved classic Jane Eyre--from the point of view of the dashing, mysterious Mr. Rochester himself. For 170 years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature...
The Other Bennet Sister
Janice Hadlow
A NPR CONCIERGE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR "Jane fans rejoice! . . . Exceptional storytelling and a true delight." --Helen Simonson, author of the New York Times bestselling novels Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War<...
Jo Baker
* Pride and Prejudice was only half the story *   If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she'd most likely be a sight more careful with them.   In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs...
A story of the lives of the servants at Longbourn, the house of the Bennetts in Pride & Prejudice.
Alexander McCall Smith
The best-selling author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series deftly escorts Jane Austen's beloved, meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century in this delightfully inventive retelling.   The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury...
Jeanette Winterson
Since her astonishing debut at twenty-five with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson has achieved worldwide critical and commercial success as "one of the most daring and inventive writers of our time" (Elle). Her new novel, Frankissstein, is an audacious love...
Frankenstein in Baghdad
Ahmed Saadawi
*International Booker Prize finalist* "Brave and ingenious." --The New York Times "Gripping, darkly humorous . . . profound." --Phil Klay, bestselling author and National Book Award winner for Redeployment "Extraordinary . . . A...
Home Fire
Kamila Shamsie
"Ingenious... Builds to one of the most memorable final scenes I've read in a novel this century." --The New York Times WINNER OF THE 2018 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION FINALIST FOR THE 2019 INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD LONGLISTED FOR...
A retelling of Sophocles's Antigone set among British Muslims.
Ursula K. Le Guin
In a richly imagined, beautiful new novel, an acclaimed writer gives an epic heroine her voice InThe Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin...
An imagining of the life of Lavinia, a minor character in Virgil's Aeneid.
Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis
Ali Smith
Girl meets boy. It's a story as old as time. But in Whitbread winner Ali Smith's lyrical, funny, mash-up of Ovid's most joyful gender-bending metamorphosis story, girl meets boy in so many more ways than one. Imogen and Anthea, sisters that are opposites, work together at Pure, a creative...
Based on Ovid's story "Iphis and Ianthe" from his Metamorphoses.
John Gardner
This classic and much lauded retelling of Beowulf follows the monster Grendel as he learns about humans and fights the war at the center of the Anglo Saxon classic epic. "An extraordinary achievement."--New York Times The first and most...
The retelling of the Old English poem Beowulf from the perspective of the antagonist, Grendel.
Christina Henry
Alice has been in the mental hospital in Old Town for years. She doesn't remember why. All she can remember is a tea party long ago. Long ears and blood. Until one night she escapes, free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. When Alice escapes, something escapes with...
The Ballad of Black Tom
Victor LaValle
One of NPR's Best Books of 2016, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, the British Fantasy Award, the This is Horror Award for Novella of the Year, and a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards People move to New York looking for magic...
A retelling H. P. Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook" from the viewpoint of a black man.

Library staff! You can create and contribute to lists. Contact your catalog administrator or log in here.