Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Twelve Stories after Cervantes and Shakespeare

‘The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,

are of imagination all compact.’

– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Read an Excerpt
EBook: £5

About the Book

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the deaths of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, And Other Stories and Hay Festival have selected twelve contemporary international authors to each write an original and previously unpublished story as their tribute to these giants of world literature.

In order to celebrate the international influence of both writers and offer us new and intriguing perspectives on them, six English-speaking authors have taken inspiration from Cervantes and his work, while six Spanish-language authors have written stories inspired by Shakespeare. An introduction by Salman Rushdie explores the liberating legacy of Cervantes and Shakespeare for contemporary fiction.

The stories are:

Don Quixote and the Ambiguity of Reading – Ben Okri
Mir Aslam of Kolachi – Kamila Shamsie
The Dogs of War – Juan Gabriel Vasquez (tr. Anne McLean)
Coriolanus – Yuri Herrera (tr. Lisa Dillman)
Glass – Nell Leyshon
Opening Windows – Marcos Giralt Torrente (tr. Samantha Schnee)
The Piano Bar – Hisham Matar
The Secret Life of Shakespeareans – Soledad Puértolas (tr. Rosalind Harvey)
Egyptian Puppet – Vicente Molina Foix (tr. Frank Wynne)
The Glass Woman – Deborah Levy
The Anthology Massacre – Rhidian Brook
Shakespeare, New Mexico – Valeria Luiselli (tr. Christina MacSweeney)

More Info

  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before 7th October 2015, you would have received the first edition of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
  • Read a story from the collection, ‘The Dogs of War’ by IMPAC-winning author Juan Gabriel Vásquez over at the Irish Times.
  • Vicente Molina Foix’s story Egyptian Puppets is online at Lithub.
  • An excerpt from Valeria Luiselli’s story Shakespeare, New Mexico can be read at Guernica.
  • This project was undertaken with the generous support of the British Council and AC/E (Acción Cultural Española).
Print status: Available
Original language: English, Spanish
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 7 April 2016
ISBN: 9781908276780
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276797
Availability: World
Number of pages: 256


Miranda France
The Guardian

‘A triumph of collaboration. [Lunatics, Lovers and Poets is] much more than a celebration of contemporary and legendary writers: it’s about the global reach of the English and Spanish languages. It’s about the wonder of translation . . . It’s about collaboration . . . It’s also about the right to read, write and make up stories.’

Boyd Tonkin

‘A splendid homage to two visionaries.’ Boyd Tonkin

Daniel Smith
The Spectator

‘Shakespearean flexibility is beautifully revealed in the 12 short stories in this collection . . . fiction is only half a step away from history, and the false shades into the real.’

Ruth Morse
Times Literary Supplement

‘Authors and translators maintain a high standard . . . Outstanding.’

Herald Scotland

‘Some of the brightest lights in contemporary fiction celebrate the timelessness of Shakespeare and Cervantes . . . these stories [are] fresh and exciting. Much of this comes from the diversity of writer backgrounds on show, and their style and traditions add a wealth of interpretation and perspective.’

The Skinny

‘Shakespeare and Cervantes’ artistic resonance is beautifully repositioned within a modern and multi-lingual context in Lunatics, Lovers and Poets.’