Book Profile – That Way Madness Lies: 15 of Shakespeare’s Most Notable Works Reimagined Edited by Dahlia Adler



Release Date: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN-13: 978-1250753861

Numbered Pages: 321
Short Stories: There are 15 Short Stories Total, 4 of Which Are Written by Authors in the Melanin in YA Database

Design: Devan Norman
Jacket Design & Hand Lettering: Jon Contino

Purchase: Bookshop I Barnes & Noble I IndieBound I Amazon
Add it to Goodreads: Here



A midnight dance in a gym. A cast party amongst the stars. An ode to a fallen rap legend.

Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of William Shakespeare’s classic works. Now, today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these fifteen whip-smart and original retellings!


Dedication: “For Micah, whose stories are only just beginning”
End of Book: About the Authors, About William Shakespeare, Acknowledgements


K. Ancrum

Author: K. Ancrum
Short Story: “The Taming of the Soul Mate” – Pages 45-63
Shakespeare Work Reimagined: The Taming of the Shrew (Comedy)

Genre: Speculative
Setting: Engagement Party
Tense: Past Tense
Point of View (POV): Third Person
Themes/Subjects: Love, Soulmates, Fate, Freedom, Tradition, Independence, Identity, Social Roles & Expectations

Characters + Identifiers (Main Character + In Order of Named Appearance)

Katherine – College Freshman

Lucentio – 17-years-old, Bianca’s Soulmate, tall, dark-gray hair (p. 49)

Sabrina – College Freshman, Katherine’s Best Friend, gray curls (p. 46)

Bianca – Katherine’s Younger Sister, Lucentio’s Soulmate, white-gray hair (p. 48)

Janet – Sabrina’s Choice of a Potential Soul Mate for Katherine

Petrucio – Lucentio’s Friend, dark and shiny hair, eyes the same hue but lighter (p. 52), curly hair (p. 56)

For Readers Who Enjoy: The One (Netflix), Black Mirror Episode 404 “Hang the DJ,” The Adjustment Bureau


Lily Anderson

Author: Lily Anderson
Short Story: “We Have Seen Better Days” – Pages 89-109
Shakespeare Work Reimagined: As You Like It (Comedy)

Genre: Contemporary
Setting: Camp Arden
Tense: Past Tense
Point of View (POV): First Person
Themes/Subjects: Love, Secrets, Rivalry, Forgiveness

Characters + Identifiers (Main Character + In Order of Named Appearance)

Rosalinda “Rosie” – braided pigtails (p. 96), red dyed hair (p. 98)

Dad / Duke Castillo – Camp Director, Rosie’s Father

Celia “Cece” – Rosie’s Older Cousin by 2 Years, sharp toenails (p. 90), hair in space buns (p. 91)

Orlando Cohen-Kersey (Formerly “Orly,” now “Lando”) – Rosie’s Friend, 1 year older than Rosie, Tall, light-skinned, Black, owlish glasses, dimples (p. 91), afro (p. 92),

Ollie – Orlando’s Older Brother

Mom – Rosie’s Mother

Madison Poffenberger – Camper

Tinsley PoffenbergerCamper


Fun Fact:

There are pop culture references to PERCY JACKSON, Jordan Peele, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, and Jurassic World.


Patrice Caldwell

Author: Patrice Caldwell
Short Story: “Elsinore” – Pages 252-274
Shakespeare Work Reimagined: Hamlet (Tragedy)

Genre: Paranormal
Setting: April 1892 English Country Estate “Elsinore”
Tense: Present
Point of View (POV): First Person
Themes/Subjects: Madness, Death, Justice, Revenge, Social Status, Politics, Deceit, Monsters

Format: Epistolary

Characters + Identifiers (Main Character + In Order of Named Appearance)

Lady Anne – 17-years-old, The Late Duke’s Daughter

Camilla Whitbeck – Lady Anne’s Best Friend

Duchess Penny Taylor / “Mother” – Lady Anne’s Mother, Duchess of Elsinore, Black, American

Lord Andrew Taylor – Lady Anne’s Uncle Turned Stepfather, Duke of Elsinore, English

Papa – Lady Anne’s Father

Samuel “Sam” Whitbeck – Camilla’s Brother, green eyes (p. 264)

Mama – Camilla & Samuel’s Late Mother

Reginald “Reggie” – Jester

Fun Facts:

There are pop culture references to Grace van Helsing  and Sherlock Holmes.

This short story is followed by an Author’s Note.


Tochi Onyebuchi

Author: Tochi Onyebuchi
Short Story: “The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History” – Pages 223-238
Shakespeare Work Reimagined: Coriolanus (Tragedy)

Genre: Contemporary
Setting: Long Beach, CA
Tense: Present
Point of View (POV): Told through interviews conducted by the Narrator
Themes/Subjects: Community, Fame, Reputation, Hip Hop, Politics, Class, Identity, Masculinity, Humanity, Rivalry

Triggers: Violence (Stabbing), Death, Homophobia

Characters + Identifiers (Main Character + In Order of Named Appearance)

Cameron Marcus / Cory Lanez – 17-year-old, Rapper/Singer, Queer, Family roots in Zimbabwe (p. 231)

Terence Stevens – CitiZens Rap Group Member, Childhood Friend

Herbert McKenzie – CitiZens Rap Group Member, Childhood Friend

Menachem Adler – Cameron’s Childhood Friend, Producer, Jewish

Violet Marcus – Cameron’s Mother

Van Nathan Marcus – Cameron’s Father, member of the Black Panther Party

Titus Lawrence – Former Member of the Piru Street Bloods

Cornelius Thompson – Former Member of the Piru Street Bloods

Adrian Young – Senior VP of A&R at Volscian Records

Tyson “Aufset” Aufson – Rapper, Cameron’s Friend & Unconfirmed Love Interest

Vera Gibson – Cameron’s Partner and the Mother of Cameron’s Son

Mutasa – Cameron’s Son

Julius Brown – Former City Councilman

Silas Vale – Local Law Enforcement Community Liaison

Fun Fact:

There are pop culture references to Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Motown, N.W.A., Rick Ross, Jay Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, E-40, The Game, Rosa Parks, Serena Williams, ScHoolboy Q, Bryson Tiller, JID, Burna Boy, DJ Khaled

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