As part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project authors of international standing have been invited to select a play and to write a contemporary version of it as a novel. Anne Tyler's response to The Taming of the Shrew is set in Baltimore where Dr Battista, an obsessively dedicated scientist, lives with his two daughters Kate and Bunny.
He spends most of his waking hours at the lab where he is assisted by a brilliant young researcher called Pyotr. But Pyotr's three year visa is set to expire in a few weeks and fearful that it will not be renewed Dr Battista has suggested that his eldest daughter Kate might marry Pyotr and resolve the situation to everyone's satisfaction - except hers.
Following a somewhat chaotic wedding ceremony and a dash by Pyotr to catch the liberator of their lab-mice - once they realised who was responsible - order has been restored at last. Now the wedding celebrations can begin in earnest, with congratulations to the happy couple and a glimpse into what their future holds, despite their rather unconventional courtship.
Anne Tyler's previous novels include Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1983), The Accidental Tourist (1985) and Breathing Lessons (1988). All three were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with Breathing Lessons winning the prize for 1989. She has also won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Ambassador Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2012 she was awarded The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.
Written by Anne Tyler
Read by Liza Ross
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.