Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Its main character, Felix, is a theater director who has staged many of Shakespeare's plays but is dismissed from his job as a rival co-worker vies for his position. Over the course of more than a decade, Felix remakes his life, and begins to direct felons in his plays as a form of rehabilitation, both for himself and the convicts. As he plots his own revenge, he directs the prisoners in The Tempest, a play itself that is all about revenge and fantasy. The play therefore mimics Felix's own life, and Hag-Seed is a retelling of the classic play in a new and original way.
Atwood is successful in creating a depth and range to her characters that is usually only present in a theatrical setting, and she uses humor and magic to re-imagine The Tempest in a clever and satirical way. While I don't naturally gravitate towards Shakespeare's work (especially his dramas), I read this book in only a few days as it retold a classic in a modern way. Despite the heavy subject matter, this book read easily as a parody, and Atwood's writing was enchanting, as always.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.