Miranda and Caliban

I’ve got Jacqueline Carey’s Miranda and Caliban (thanks Fiona!), but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I’m pretty excited!

Here she is talking about the book at Scalzi’s Big Idea series:

From the beginning, I had a strong sense that this story ought to be told in the alternating narrative voices of the two characters in whom I was most interested, Miranda and Caliban.  I also wanted to work within the structural confines of Shakespeare’s text, which presented an immediate challenge, as we’re told in The Tempest that Caliban didn’t possess the gift of language until Prospero and Miranda taught it to him. But challenges are interesting things, because they force you to stretch and grow as a writer.

I envisioned my Caliban as we first encounter him not as a grown man, but a “wild boy,” as Miranda calls him; essentially, a feral child born on the island and left to fend for himself after the death of his mother. In the course of researching children raised without human contact, I learned that children who had acquired language skills prior to their isolation were in some cases able to reacquire them.

This, then, determined the arc of my two narrative voices. Over the course of the book, Miranda grows from a precocious, tender-hearted six-year-old girl to a frustrated young woman grappling with adult issues she hasn’t been given the tools to understand, and her voice reflects this evolution. By contrast, Caliban’s voice emerges in a halting and tentative fashion, at first a mere handful of words repeated in a rhythmic manner. At times in The Tempest, he sings ditties to himself and I chose to incorporate that element, giving his evolving narrative voice a singsong quality laced with guttural and susurrant notes, a tendency toward onomatopoeia, and an inconsistent grasp of grammar and tense.

And here’s a list of other Shakespearean retellings.

From an interview at Happily Ever After, what Carey is working on next:

Jacqueline: I don’t quite have my elevator pitch down for this one yet, but I’m returning to epic fantasy — spiced with a dash of pulp horror — with a novel tentatively titled The Starless. It’s a sweeping tale of honor and love and destiny, set in a vast archipelago beneath starless skies, where strange and wondrous gods walk the earth.




1 thought on “Miranda and Caliban”

  1. Miranda and Caliban sounds very interesting – I hadn’t actually thought much about how the novel would unfold, but I’m looking forward to reading it now. With Kushiel’s Dart I had thought I would just check out the beginning, but then I really couldn’t put it down!

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