The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.170 Friday, 27 April 2012
Date: April 24, 2012 9:48:40 AM EDT
Subject: I, Iago by Nicole Galland
I, IAGO (William Morrow Paperback Original; 978-0062026873; $14.99; April 24, 2012) is a retelling of Shakespeare’s classic Othello and 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.
Iago’s childhood days are filled with mischief and adventures as he navigates a magical Venice with his naive best friend and partner-in-crime Roderigo. But in a world where duplicity is revered, Iago quickly earns the insulting nickname “honest Iago.” When his father forces Iago to enroll in the military, his life is changed—his friendship with Roderigo dissolves and he meets and falls hopelessly in love with the witty and charming Emilia during Carnivale.
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.”
Historical fiction at its finest, I, IAGO proves to be the perfect blend of romance, humor, power, irony, and ultimately, betrayal.