Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Fiction: Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart edited by Laurel Ann Natt

If we are at the zenith of Jane Austen-inspired hysteria, then Jane Austen Made Me Do It (Ballantine) is its nadir. Not the mania or madness of the Austen-inspired zombie stories popular late in the last decade or even the gentle Austen-solved mystery stories more recently come to the fore. Jane Austen Made Me Do It is Austen as applied right now.

The publication of Jane Austen Made Me Do It is intended to loosely mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense and Sensibility. It features the work of a few authors very well known to those who write in Austenland, as well as a few known to everyone. In an introduction, editor Lauren Ann Nattress explains:
The short-story anthology contains twenty-two contributions exclusively commissioned from popular and bestselling authors who have excelled in fiction inspired by Austen or other genres and who greatly admire her talent. Each will readily admit, “Jane Austen made me do it!”
And so we have the work of Stephanie Barron, Lauren Willig, Adriana Trigiani, Maya Slater, Jo Beverley and more than a dozen others contributing, as the subtitle promises, “original stories inspired by literature’s most astute observer of the human heart.”

With billing like that, really, what more need be said?

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