Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Rebooted
I’m sure many people remember the first time they laid eyes on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. And now, over 600 years later, the series of stories are being reworked to be told through the eyes of refugees in Britain, reports The Guardian.
Originally written in the 14th century, writers such as Ali Smith, Chris Cleave, Patience Agbabi, and Marine Lewycka have joined forces to create a modern version of Chaucer’s popular works. The anthology consists of The Lorry Driver’s Tale by Cleave, The Detainee’s Tale by Smith, The Dependant’s Tale by Lewycka, and The Refugee’s Tale by Agbabi. The reboot is backed by the refugee charity Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group and is due for release on June 23rd by Comma Press.
The charity is responsible for pairing writers with refugees, culminating in a walk from Dover to Crawley, and those authors who participated debuted their stories to large audiences before they were collected by Comma Press. That same walk will be duplicated during July, this time with the trail ranging from Canterbury to London, and will debut a collection of updated Canterbury stories from authors such as Jackie Kay and Kamila Shamsie.
Shamsie has some powerful words to justify the retelling as well:
We hear so many of the wrong words about refugees—ugly, limiting, unimaginative words—that it feels like a gift to find here so many of the right words which allow us to better understand the lives around us, and our own lives too.
To leave a comment