This Poet-Turned-Author Wants You and Your Teenage Boys to Read Hamlet

Author and Texan Joe Jiménez uses the second-person to draw readers into this take on Hamlet – set in the world of a Hispanic teenager grappling with his overbearing uncle.

By Joy DiazJune 14, 2016 10:32 am,

The premise of “Bloodline,” a young adult novel published late last month, is “Hamlet” for Hispanic boys.

Clay Smith, editor-in-chief of Austin-based Kirkus Reviews, says this young adult novel, the author Joe Jiménez’s first, tackles Shakespeare in part because of Jimenez’s own intimidation of reading the Bard. A high school English and literature teacher in San Antonio, Jiménez decided to retell “Hamlet” using the second-person, addressing the reader as “you.”

“When an author does that,” Smith says, “it can often induce this feeling of familiarity in the reader and you as a reader kind of  feel like you can be living that story too.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– The elements that Jiménez borrowed from Hamlet, including the shifting family dynamics

– How the second-person adds a sense of urgency to this retelling

– The lyrical elements that Jiménez, an accomplished poet, brings to his first book of prose