Once upon a time we had a discussion of a sequel to Othello. This week we have the opportunity to interview Nicole Galland, co-founded of Shakespeare for the Masses and author of the upcoming historical novel I, IAGO (William Morrow Paperback Original; 978-0062026873; April 24, 2012).
Shakespeare’s classic Othello features literature’s most infamous villain: Iago. But despite Iago’s leading role and almost incessant chatter throughout the play, he becomes suddenly silent near the end leaving generations guessing as to why he committed such heinous crimes. Now just in time for Shakespeare’s birthday, Nicole Galland’s meticulously researched reveals the true motivations behind the character whose name has become synonymous with evil.
A successful young soldier and adoring husband to Emilia, Iago’s desire to rise in rank and good regard under the command of General Othello informs his actions and begins to cloud his thinking. Gradually, Galland introduces all of the celebrated characters Shakespeare lovers know well—from Roderigo and Othello to Desdemona and Cassio—and in a fascinating manner, we learn about Iago’s intricate relationships and dynamics with each of them. Nicole says, “When creating the characters in I, IAGO, I relied on information in the original Othello text. Although the play appears to be about innocent people being tragically duped and destroyed by the villain, a closer look reveals that there are few real innocents in this story.”
The author has graciously agreed to answer questions from the Shakespeare geek audience. What would you like to know? Ask your questions in the comments and I’ll send them along to the author at the end of this week.
I’ll start. I for one would like to learn a little bit more about the expected audience for a book such as this. How much does the story suffer if the reader has never seen or read Othello? In a situation like this does the publisher know that such a book goes right to the heart of the hardcore Shakespeare crowd, or do they hope for a wider appeal?