Happy 10th anniversary, Twilight fans: Edward and Bella swap genders
First of all: What the what? It's been ten years since Twilight was published?
That was fast. But author Stephenie Meyer, whose four volumes in the romance-vampire Twilight saga sold 100 million copies and spawned five movies, is celebrating the decade with a treat (maybe) for fans. She announced that the new 10th-anniversary edition of Twilight, published today, features some 400 pages of "bonus material": Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.
It's an altered version of the novel with the genders of the main characters swapped -- they're now Edythe and Beau instead of Edward and Bella, and the story is about a female vampire in love with a human teenage boy. Fill in your own punchline about who wore more makeup in the movies anyway, Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson.
The new work is not the long-legendary Midnight Sun, a version of Twilight told from Edward's point of view. After a partial draft of that book was leaked in 2008, Meyer said she wouldn't publish it.
On Good Morning America today, Meyer said something about Life and Death that is either a wonderfully liberated take on gender roles or absolutely clueless -- you decide: "It’s just a love story, it doesn’t matter who’s the boy and who’s the girl."
Let us hope Life and Death is more fully imagined than Grey, the swapped-viewpoint version of mammoth bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey published earlier this year by E.L. James, who of course based her books on her fan fiction based on the Twilight books -- got that? Anyway, Grey, told from Christian's POV, read as if it had been written mainly by the find-and-replace function on James' computer.
Meyer, of course, is doing something that is likely to be more complex. But she did imitate James' Grey in one way: publishing Life and Death as a surprise, without a big advance splash. For fans' sake, I hope she expended a little more effort on it than James did on Grey.