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Reading Groups

Novels Based on Shakespeare's Plays with Donna Raskin

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Three Sessions Fridays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT June 30 to August 18, 2023

Online via Zoom

Registration for this reading group has closed.

Meeting Dates:
6/30, 7/21, 8/18
Online via Zoom

For centuries, Shakespeare’s characters have inspired novelists including Jane Smiley, Jeannette Winterson, Margaret Atwood, and many others. This summer, enjoy three novels based on Shakespeare comedies. You don’t have to have seen or read the plays, although you will gain a little Shakespeare knowledge, as well as delight in stories that honor, challenge, and play with Shakespeare’s point of view and the conventions of English Renaissance theater. For example, his plays were only performed by male actors (often boys) and he had those boys play girls who were pretending to be boys (Twelfth Night). He frequently featured plays within plays (A Midsummer Night’s Dream/Hamlet) and he frequently questioned the wisdom and honor of the powerful (Henry IV, King Lear).

Before the first session, participants should read Wise Children by Angela Carter (the whole book).

What to expect from this group: Participants can expect a guided discussion with some background and additional suggested reading during this reading group. Discussion participation is highly encouraged.


Led by

  • Donna Raskin

    Donna Raskin

    Donna Raskin

    Donna Raskin is a senior editor at Hearst and loves talking about novels almost more than anything else in the world. She has led virtual book groups through The Center for Fiction since the early days of the pandemic. She also loves Shakespeare and has set a goal to read and watch all of his plays by the end of 2024 (she’s well on her way!).