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Val McDermid to rewrite Northanger Abbey

19th July 2012

Crime writing giant Val McDermid is to rework Northanger Abbey as part of a new project that will see modern authors reinvent Jane Austen's six complete novels.

HarperFiction is behind the initiative, which seeks to establish new ways of enjoying Austen's classic novels by having authors of 'global literary significance' modify them.

The first adaptation is set to be published next year in the form of Joanna Trollope's Sense & Sensibility, while Curtis Sittenfeld's Pride & Prejudice will hit bookstore shelves in 2014.

However, Louisa Joyner, editorial director at HarperFiction, said McDermid's take on Austen's work could be the most eagerly anticipated, due to the contrasting styles of the two authors.

'There is so much scope for reinvention in this often misunderstood novel and the idea of Val McDermid breathing life into it by bringing her literary expertise as the pre-eminent crime writer to reignite the novel's fear factor is incredibly exciting,' she added.

McDermid said she was 'surprised and delighted' to be asked to rewrite Northanger Abbey, adding that the novel presents 'tantalising possibilities' to a modern writer.

'It's lively, satirical and holds out the opportunity for a genuine frisson of fear. I can't wait to get started,' the author added.

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