Today we at Daastan are celebrating the literary giant, Jane Austen through the modern retellings of her most notable novels. It is no secret that Austen is not only a critic favourite but also a public one. Her works were ahead of their time, encompassing themes like women empowerment. Moreover, her characters are the epitome of romance and delicacy. For many decades now, authors have tried to replicate the essence of ‘Austenian’ literature. Although, very few can attain the intricacy of words, emotions and thought like Austen but that does not stop the modernists and post-modernists from trying. To our surprise, these efforts have not totally been in vain. Many people enjoy the contemporary twist to these regency era romances. Therefore, we are here to provide the Jane Austen fan club a breath of fresh through these modern retellings.
Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavours by Sonali Dev
Sonali Dev’s desi take on the timeless classic tells the tale of the proud surgeon Trisha and the prejudiced DJ Caine. In this rewrite of Pride and Prejudice, Bollywood meets Jane Austen. Trisha Raje is a neurosurgeon whose family is Indian American royalty. Her father is an actual prince in India and her mother is a former Bollywood actress. Whereas, our Mr. Darcy, DJ turned to cooking to cope with the poverty and racism of his childhood in London, where he was born to an Anglo-Indian family. Dev’s novel is a clever portrayal of class divisions, racism and other pressing social matters.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.”
Where The Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dess
Do first loves and second chances sound familiar to you? We know what comes to mind when hearing about this trope. However, it is not what you think it is. We are not talking about Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Instead, we are here to introduce you Sarah Dess’ romantic and mesmerising novel that may or may not be another Austen’s retelling.
“What a delightful debut! It’s like the perfect island vacation: breezy, warm, romantic, lots of soul searching, and full to the brim with love.” — Jasmine Guillory
Tobago – Reyna’s once haven starts to feel like a purgatory after her mother dies and her bestfriend leaves her to pursue his music dreams. At Plumeria, on her family’s seaside resort everything seems to go back to normal but Reyna struggles to let go the past. However, little did she know her past, Aiden was about to catch up with her.
Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh
“The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much.”
These words from Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” encompass the entirety of modern dating where one requires ‘a lot’ in terms of dating and courtship with another. However, it’s not just the modern world that has pre-requistes for dating, the regency era, too had its standards and conventions in the matter. Sense and Sensibility is novel about two sisters who have almost nothing in common. One of them wears her heart on sleeve whereas the other keeps her walls high.
“For two sisters as different as Plum and Ginny, getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course. But when the family’s finances hit a snag, sending chaos through the house the two drift apart like they never have before. Plum, a self-described social outcast, strikes up a secret friendship with the class jock. Whereas, Ginny’s usual high-strung nature escalates to pure hysterics.” — Goodreads
We hope you enjoyed this modern take on Jane Austen’s works. For more literary goodness, stay tuned!