To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Hogarth commissioned “today’s best-loved novelists” to retell “the world’s favourite playwright’s” dramas. Anne Tyler’s novel Vinegar Girl is based on “The Taming of the Shrew,” a play that Tyler said she hated because it’s “totally misogynistic” and the people “behave meanly to each other.” In Tyler’s version, the “shrew” becomes someone who lacks social skills. Instead of being tamed or tricked, she makes a deal with an immigrant who wants a green card. Add a Baltimore setting and some family dysfunction, subtract the nasty bits, and a funny, quirky, very-Anne-Tyler story emerges.
Anne Tyler, Vinegar Girl (New York: Hogarth, 20160, 34.