I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Sometimes, there’s nothing like reading a good old-fashioned classic. One of my favorite classic novels is The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. And now, a number of Wharton’s novels are being re-imagined in a more contemporary way.
According to Entertainment Weekly, two separate debut novels were released last month that re-imagine Wharton’s most famous books, The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. First, The Innocents by Francesca Segal and second, Gilded Age by Claire McMillan.
The Innocents sets Wharton’s classic in a Jewish community in modern-day London. It’s a concept that came naturally to author Francesca Segal, who sat down to speak with EW.
I went through a phase of reading a lot of [Henry] James and Wharton a few years ago, and when I reached The Age of Innocence — probably the fourth or fifth Wharton novel I read in very quick succession — it just spoke to me. I read the opening scene, in the Academy of Music, and I saw it instantly as a contemporary synagogue.
Though I’ve never read anything but Wharton’s Innocence, I am a big fan of hers and would love to read the ways contemporary authors spin her classic tale of New York City’s high society drama.