Shylock Is My Name | Penguin Random House Canada
Hogarth Shakespeare

Shylock Is My Name

The Merchant of Venice Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare)

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The second book in the Hogarth Shakespeare series heralds the full-on 2016 anniversary celebration of Shakespeare: Man Booker Prize winner and our great chronicler of Jewish life retells the powerful, controversial story of Shylock.
In The Merchant of Venice, the merchant Antonio borrows from the Jewish moneylender Shylock, whom he openly despises, to help fund his friend Bassanio's wooing of the beautiful, prized Portia. Shylock agrees--but on the condition that Antonio promise in return a pound of flesh should he be unable to repay the debt. When Antonio's ships are lost at sea and it becomes clear he cannot, the case goes to court: Antonio must honour his promise--until an unknown lawyer (Portia herself, dressed as a man) arrives and brilliantly picks the case apart.
     Jacobson takes the great tale of vengeance and cruelty and propels it through space and time to the shiny modern world of Cheshire's Golden Triangle, where we meet a funny, love-driven, vindictive cast of characters very much from our world, confronting Shakespeare's timelessly urgent questions in the 21st century.

From the Hardcover edition.


 • "On the Jewish question, [Jacobson's] oeuvre is illuminating, defiant, heartbreaking and hilarious. . . . One of the great comic-tragic writers of our times, he instinctively understands comedy's dark underside and refuses to leave it unexplored. . . . Reading Shylock Is My Name undid me, reminding me of the irrefutable otherness that still manifests itself. It is a moving, disturbing and compelling riposte to the blithe resolution offered in the urtext." --The Sydney Morning Herald