Books by Maya Slater

My books can be purchased online at Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, and Indie Bound.

Fiction

The Private Diary of Mr Darcy, by Maya Slater. W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 2009. ISBN 978-0-393-33636-8

Mr Darcy’s Diary by Maya Slater, Phoenix, Orion Books Ltd, London, 2007. ISBN 978 0 7538 226 1

Mr Darcy’s Diary, large print edition, Bath: Windsor 2007. ISBN 978-1-405-68600-6 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-405-68601-3 (paperback)

On CD

Mr Darcy’s Diary, read by David Rintoul, BBC Audiobooks, 2008.

Jane Austen’s enigmatic hero is tantalisingly absent for most of Pride and Prejudice, but I had never thought of filling the gap myself till someone asked me ‘What book would you most love to read, if only it had been written?’ I found myself answering, without hesitation, ‘Oh, Mr Darcy’s diary.’ I had idly toyed with the idea before, and now it bothered me for months, till finally I had to give in to it. I thought I would be sticking closely to Jane Austen’s novel, so I started straight in describing Mr Darcy’s first meeting with Elizabeth, Austen’s heroine.

But then the book’s direction was taken out of my hands by my hero. Mr Darcy was going to lead me where he wanted to go – and I soon found that he was taking me to places where Jane Austen could never have followed. Although the book works through to Austen’s lovely happy ending, on the way it tells the hero’s own separate, surprising and sometimes shocking story. So you don’t have to know Pride and Prejudice to read it.

Some opinions on the UK edition of this book

(See also the full-length reviews.)

"Seamlessly weaving in bits of the original, this entertaining novel gets the curmudgeonly hero spot on" (Katy Guest The Independent )

"Mr Darcy's Diary boldly goes where Jane Austen never does" (John Sutherland The Financial Times)

"As moving and enjoyable as could be wished... Mr Darcy fans everywhere will welcome his Diary to the canon" (Wendy Holden Daily Mail )

"A thoroughly absorbing read" (Yours Magazine )

"Maya Slater creates a convincing world for Fitzwilliam Darcy... a real cappuccino of a book -- deliciously frothy, but with a definite kick" (Jocelyn Bury Jane Austen's Regency World )

"A witty and entertaining exploration of Darcy's side of the Pride and Prejudice story, with some surprising revelations about his private life" (Andrew Davies, scriptwriter of the 1995 BBC TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice )

Translations

Molière: The Misanthrope, Tartuffe and Other Plays, Oxford World’s Classics, 2001. ISBN 978-0-19-954018-1

I was commissioned to do a new translation of Molière by Oxford World’s Classics - and as Molière is one of my favourites, I was eager to take it on. I decided to do a rhyming translation, using Molière’s own verse form, the alexandrine or twelve-syllable line. I spent two years translating the six plays - some of the rhyming couplets took me hours. It’s a bit like doing a difficult crossword puzzle - you know there is a ‘right’ solution, it’s just a matter of finding it. Hard work, but I loved doing it.

See reviews

Three Pre-Surrealist Plays, Oxford World’s Classics, 1997. ISBN 0-19-283217-4

When my students planned a production of Alfred Jarry’s rude, rumbustious play, Ubu the King, they showed me the translation they planned to use. It was awful. After tinkering with it, I decided that it would be simpler to translate the whole play myself. So I did, they performed it, and it got lots of laughs. It was not till much later that I thought of publishing it, together with two other favourite plays of mine, Apollinaire’s The Mammaries of Tiresias, a wittily surrealist fantasy with a hidden message about birth control, and Maeterlinck’s The Blind, a magical and disturbing vision of a sightless world.

La Fontaine: Selected Fables, translated by Christopher Wood, edited by Maya Slater, Oxford University Press, World’s Classics, 1995. ISBN 0-19-282440-6 (Editor).

I was roped in on this project as a La Fontaine specialist. Christopher Wood, the translator, turned out to be a retired businessman who wrote very good poetry for fun. We worked on his translations, making them as faithful to La Fontaine as possible. It was a fruitful, if sometimes stormy, collaboration, and the resulting volume reflects the wit and charm of the original.

Boris Pasternak: Family Correspondence 1921–1960, translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater, edited by Maya Slater, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-8179-1024-2 (Editor)

Pasternak This selection reflects the events of Pasternak's life during forty turbulent years through his correspondence with his parents and sisters, and sheds new and revealing light on the great writer's life and work. The letters are especially poignant in that after 1923 Pasternak never saw his family again. I was asked by the Hoover Press to edit this translation by my husband Nicolas, who is Pasternak's nephew.

See reviews

Academic books

The Craft of La Fontaine, Athlone Press, London, 2000 and Associated University Presses, Cranbury, NJ, USA, 2001.

This study of La Fontaine’s style represents about ten years work. I started teaching La Fontaine, and quickly became fascinated by the subtle brilliance of his poetry. Many people dismiss him as an amusing children’s poet, dashing off witty moral tales in verse. But these lively fables are in fact small masterpieces.

See reviews

Humour in the Works of Proust, Oxford University Press 1979.

This book started off as my doctorate thesis, on an aspect of Proust’s writing that gets far too little attention. Of course his masterpiece is serious, philosophical, even searing, and always vividly descriptive, but these strengths tend to obscure the fact that it is also a great comic novel. Dozens of ridiculous characters people the book, and their ideas, their language, even their punctuation can raise a smile, and at the most tragic moments.

See reviews

Women Voice Men: Gender in European Culture, ed. by Maya Slater, Intellect Books, Exeter, 1997. ISBN 1-8711516-93-5

For this collection I got together a group of dynamic women from different walks of academic life - specialists in literature, sociology, law, history and psychology - and asked them to write about men, any aspect that really got them fired up. Their contributions are all excellent, and very different.