The Thread Book Club: 'Re Jane'

'Re Jane' by Patricia Park
'Re Jane' by Patricia Park
Courtesy of Penguin

This month's edition of The Thread Book Club bounced from Victorian England to modern Queens, and then on to the arctic.

Patricia Park joined MPR News' Kerri Miller to discuss her new book: "Re Jane." It's a modern retelling of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre," but with its own distinctive modern flare. Park recasts Jane as a first generation Korean-American in New York City, struggling to find her place.

"It does draw from my background," Park said. "I was born and raised in Flushing, Queens, and there's a large Korean community there. I didn't know I was American until I was 17 despite the fact that I had a blue passport. Everything was all Korean, all the time. This is the environment which Jane Re also grows up in — there's a sense of: What are you?"

Park and Miller were joined by arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, the first known woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles.

"I was harking back on my own life," Bancroft told Park of reading the book. "I think all of your characters have a way of coming full circle, because they're all exploring who they are and where they fit in."

The book soars both for diehard Jane Eyre fans — "Eyre heads" — and for those who have never read Bronte's classic. Bancroft picked up "Re Jane" without having read Bronte, and found that Park's inventive twists stood firmly on their own.

The Thread Book Club

Every month, The Thread Book Club selects a book and invites the author for a conversation in the studio. Readers can join the conversation and submit their own questions for the author. The Thread also invites a guest reader into the studio — someone who can add their own unique perspective to the conversation.

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