On April 14, it was announced through Publishers Weekly that the Reclaimed Classics series will be released starting in Spring 2021 with Feiwel & Friends, featuring authors of color.
Four books in total will be part of this series, with release dates in 2021 (Spring & Fall) and 2022 (Winter & Spring).
The PW article states that these retellings will “uphold the core plot points, characters, and themes of the familiar versions of classic novels, yet these key components will be filtered through the lenses of the writers’ diverse experiences.”
C.B. Lee will kick-off the series with a Treasure Island retelling. Lee mentioned that it “was first on [her] list because when [she] was in school, [she] was fascinated by Chinese maritime history and for [her], re-envisioning this novel from a Chinese cultural perspective was a no-brainer.”
Second, Bethany C. Morrow plans to re-imagine Little Women featuring a Black family, which’ll be set “at the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island in 1863, a time when some of the residents were emancipated and some were not.”
Retelling this “supposedly universal story,” Morrow highlighted that “it takes place during the Civil War, but doesn’t involve or present any narratives of Black American women at the time.”
Morrow stated that if Little Women is a “universal story of love and sisterhood, then [her] novel will be a welcome adaptation among many.”
The third retelling will be written by Aminah Mae Safi, reimagining Robin Hood set during the Mideval 19th century.
Safi plans to center the story on a “Muslim girl’s adventure during the Third Crusade.” She added that “[Robin’s] someone who is deeply invested in the status quo and in his fight to rob the rich to give to the poor because he wants his own ancestral lands back. By taking this medieval legend of a crusader and turning that into the story of a young Muslim woman who is fighting to protect her own homeland from invaders and her own region’s fragile peace, I can also reclaim a piece of history. The medieval world was incredibly diverse and incredibly global. We all deserve to be able to see that.”
The final book in this series will be written by Tasha Suri who’ll be reimagining Wuthering Heights. Suri plans to weave in a “little-known part of history” when the British colonized India. White men traveled there, had children with Indian women and if the children passed as white, they were then sent back to England to be integrated into ‘proper’ white society.
Suri wants to “write a reclamation that says: everyone comes from somewhere, and colonialism may try to make us its monsters, but we don’t have to let it. I hope my re-imagining will also help make readers a little more aware of the long, long history of South Asians in Britain. There’s so much history that we’re not taught that young readers deserve to know…”
Emily Settle will be the assistant editor of this series and ” ‘absolutely’ anticipates that Reclaimed Classics will extend beyond the inaugural four titles…”
The series is now available to add on Goodreads!
Reclaimed Classics is set to be released in 2021!