A Certain Persuasion: Modern LGBTQ+ Fiction Inspired by Jane Austen’s Novels

Written by Andrea Demetrius Julie Bozza Sam Evans
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Thirteen stories from eleven authors explore the world of Jane Austen with gender identity twists. Darcys abound, both in period and modern-day. Even Colin Firth’s trousers make an appearance. Austen lovers discover each other at Bath museums and book clubs. Adam Otelian finds the governess of his young twin siblings has a beard. Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Smith decide to seek happiness with each other without regard to the need of a husband. Margaret Dashwood experiences her first kiss from the lips of a “fallen” woman, who forms a ready-made family with her adorable five-year-old son.

Both inspired idea and loving tribute, this welcome collection has most interesting twists. Tones vary. Some stories are sly and sexy, some warm and tender, some brooding and tragic, some laugh-out-loud funny. The original Jane Austen characters’ full-throated independence, intelligence, curiosity and bravery serve these wonderful tributes well. Reimagined, one and all discover “there are many different ways of living in this world.” I think Miss Austen would be delighted, and I highly recommend this enchanting collection.