Sometimes I don’t want to read something entirely new… to learn a new world filled with new rules and new characters. I want something familiar, but just a little more exciting than re-reading an old favorite. These retellings of gothic tales, folklore, and classic stories are perfect when that feeling strikes.
The following stories have been around for a long time, some for thousands of years. In the hands of a new author, they become something a bit more exciting… show a bit more of the truth. Whether they are taking place today instead of in early history, playing with gender roles, or just examining the story from a new perspective, the authors have widened the lens to give us more, making these tales accessible to future readers.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman – short stories based on the folklore of East and South Asia.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – a retelling of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Circe by Madeline Miller – a retelling of the Odyssey by Homer.
The Mere Wife by Dahvana Headley – a retelling of Beowulf.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi – a retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi – a retelling of Hansel and Gretel.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – a new perspective on the Trojan War.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – a retelling of Rumplestiltskin.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – a new take on Russian folklore.
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood – a retelling of The Tempest by William Shakespeare.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – a retelling of Antigone by Sophocles.
Mycroft Holmes: A Novel by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – inspired by the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Re Jane by Patricia Park – a retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
The Merry Spinster by Daniel Mallory Ortberg – horror short stories based on a variety of folklore.
These are just a few of my favorite retellings from the past few years, and I hope you enjoy them! If you are looking for a more specific selection, such as a list of Sherlock Holmes retellings or works inspired by Shakespeare, you can request a list of books made just for you using our My Next Read service.