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I love when I see efforts to merge Jane Austen and poetry, so I was intrigued when James W. Gaynor contacted me about his new book, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables). What a fun idea! Well, my dear readers, today I am delighted to have James as a guest on my blog with an excerpt from the book and a giveaway! Please give him a warm welcome:

From the introduction:

Emily Dickinson once famously remarked that if she felt as though the top of her head were taken off, she knew she was reading poetry. And who among us did not read “It is a truth universally acknowledged, …” and feel our heads explode?

Pride and Prejudice’s opening sentence is also the perfect pick-up line. The narrator zeroes in on her reader and introduces herself with what has become one of English literature’s most quoted opening sentences.

Austen continues to flirt with her reader in the first sentences of each of the book’s 61 chapters. So, how better to acknowledge the power of Austen’s collective one-line poetry than by translating Pride and Prejudice’s opening-sentence poems into contemporary twists on the classic Japanese 17-syllable haiku?

And here you have it: Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!)

It is my hope that readers will find themselves smiling knowingly from time to time as they travel in this redesigned Japanese vehicle across Austen’s familiar English landscape — and that they will forgive my star-struck attempt at this love-letter-poem to the extraordinary woman who still speaks to us in ways that can blast off the top of our heads.

My favorite (well, one of) haiku:

Chapter 7

Mr. Bennet’s property consisted almost entirely in an estate of two thousand a year, which, unfortunately for his daughters, was entailed, in default of heirs male, on a distant relation; and their mother’s fortune, though ample for her situation in life, could but ill supply the deficiency of his.

Five Bennet daughters —

Estate planning that backfired.

Which explains a lot.

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About the Author

James W. Gaynor

James W. Gaynor, author of Everything Becomes a Poem (Nemeton Press), is a poet, artist, editor, and writer. A graduate of Kenyon College, he lived for years in Paris, where he taught a course on Emily Dickinson at the University of Paris, studied the development of the psychological novel in 17th century France, and worked as a translator.

After returning to New York, Gaynor worked as an editor at Grosset & Dunlap, Cuisine magazine, Scriptwriter News and Forbes Publications. His articles, book reviews, poems and essays have appeared in The New York Observer, OTVmagazine.com, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. As #HaikuJim, Gaynor publishes a daily haiku drawn from current newspaper headlines and is the creator of Can You Haiku? — a corporate communications workshop based on using 17th-century Japanese poetry techniques to improve effective use of today’s digital platforms. Gaynor recently retired as the Global Verbal Identity Leader for Ernst & Young LLP.

Connect with James: Website | Twitter

Check out Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!) on Goodreads | Amazon

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Giveaway

James is generously offering a paperback of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!) to one of my readers. This giveaway is open internationally and will close on Sunday, December 3, 2017. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address, and we’d love to hear what intrigues you most about the book. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, James, for being my guest today! Congratulations on the new release! I’m looking forward to reading it.

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