Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Matt Haig

From BookBrowse: a conversation with Matt Haig, author of The Dead Fathers Club:

In The Dead Fathers Club, you have chosen to reimagine not merely a classic but arguably the classic work of English literature. Where does one get the daring to wrestle with a giant, and how did you go about making Shakespeare’s story into your own?

Well, I didn’t begin with a conscious desire to rewrite Hamlet. I began with the desire to tell a story about grief from a child’s perspective and I found myself gravitating increasingly toward these grand Shakespearean themes. And yes, it’s a massive risk, and I’m not the one to judge if I’ve pulled it off. But I think all writers feel the ghosts of literature breathing down their neck, so I figured it might as well be Shakespeare looking over my shoulder as anyone else.

In your opinion, how important is it to your readers’ enjoyment that they have read or reread Hamlet recently?

My intention was to write a story that connects with people emotionally and hopefully that connection works the same with or without an in-depth knowledge of Hamlet. After all, Shakespeare himself was the king of rewrites, and Hamlet itself echoes earlier vengeance stories.
Read the entire interview.

The Page 69 Test: The Dead Fathers Club.

--Marshal Zeringue