Author to reinterpret Austen's Emma in new novel

Emma is one of Jane Austen's most popular novels Credit: DPA/Press Association Images

Jane Austen's heroine Emma will be given a literary makeover by crime writer Alexander McCall Smith in a new novel that will be published 199 years after the original.

The book is part of the Austen Project which sees modern authors reinterpret Austen's work with Joanna Trollope's Sense and Sensibility due out this month and crime novelist Val McDermid's version of Northanger Abbey out next year.

McCall Smith said: "Writing a contemporary version of Emma is both a privilege and a real challenge. Not only is Emma one of the finest novels in the English language, but it is possibly Jane Austen's most thought-provoking and interesting book."