Cleis Press, July 2011; ISBN-10: 1573446637
Review by Ashley Lister: It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen remains one of the most resilient of classical authors. If anything Austen defies Mark Twain’s tenet that a classic is something everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read. People still want to read Austen, despite her being burdened with the label ‘classic.’ Her writing style remains accessible. Her stories are populated by credible characters and she delivers narratives with a rewarding and satisfying sense of wit.
And so it’s understandable that contemporary authors would pay homage to Austen.
Mitzi Szereto’s latest release, Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, retains the prim and proper diction of Austen’s original title, but with a contemporary approach to the erotic. There is a considered balance between the proper and the prurient that makes the erotic content seem surprisingly vivid, incredibly intense and coyly charming.
This is not the first title to revisit Austen’s work. Pride and Prejudice has proved a rich source of inspiration for such diverse titles as Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary and Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. However, Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is certainly one of the most stylishly exciting and arousing appropriations of Jane Austen. And that’s a truth that every lucky reader will universally acknowledge.