JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart is a short story anthology edited by Laurel Ann Nattress. Published by Ballantine Books in 2011, it is available in trade paperback and eBook format and in audio by Audible in 2014.
This delightful collection inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world—features an introduction and twenty-two never-before-published stories written by twenty-five authors from a diverse range of interests and writing experience; their uniting link is their admiration and love of the literary great, Jane Austen.
In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise; and one story from a debut voice, Brenna Aubrey, the Grand Prize winner of the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest.
Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.
• Selected Jane Austen quotes
• Reading Group Guide
The Short Story Contest:
Hosted by the esteemed Jane Austen website, The Republic of Pemberley, the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest was held January through March of 2011. Open to unpublished authors, 88 debut writers submitted stories for the chance to be selected for one open slot in the anthology. After popular vote, the Top Ten finalist were announced on March 1st. On September 1st we were very pleased to reveal that “The Love Letter” by Brenna Aubrey was selected as the Grand Prize winner and will be included in the anthology.
The stunning cover for Jane Austen Made Me Do It was designed by Random House artist Casey Hampton and includes an inset from the 1823 portrait by Thomas Sully of the Misses Mary and Emily McEuen, now displayed at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Available in trade paperback, digital eBook, and Audiobook.
Cover image courtesy of Ballantine Books © 2011; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2011, Austenprose.com