After co-authoring nonfiction books with some of the biggest names in business, including Business @ the Speed of Thought with Bill Gates, what could possibly be next?
For former Microsoft executive-turned-author Collins Hemingway, it’s Jane Austen.
Hemingway, also known for his books with other top executives like Starbucks’ Arthur Rubinfeld, and Robert Marcus (QuantumWave Capital and Microsoft), has now turned to historical fiction, reimagining the world of Jane Austen — from a science-minded perspective.
His book, The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, takes another look at what life was like for women in the early 1800s, taking “the heroine out of Austen’s balls and country houses of rural England and plung[ing] her into what the Regency era was really about: great explorations and scientific advances, political foment, and wars that were among the longest and most devastating in European history.”
Hemingway, who worked in marketing and communications for Microsoft from 1987-1999, is launching the book this week and will present it at the Jane Austen Society of North America meeting in Louisville, K.Y. It’s the first book of a planned trilogy.
The author, who has an extensive background in science/tech and literature, said that he was inspired to write about Austen because of her “voice.”
“Incredibly smart, wise, funny, kind — but doesn’t suffer fools,” Hemingway said in a Q&A shared via email. “Much like a lot of very smart women I know in my own life. I wanted to tell the story of the life she never got to live.”
So far, so good.
Book reviewer Kirkus Reviews (full disclosure: I used to work there) wrote that “the writing is Austen-ian, and Hemingway has a talent for witty banter and wry observations that would make Elizabeth Bennet proud. An enjoyable first novel in an imaginative, well-researched series.”