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The Writers' Room: The legacy of Agatha Christie

Crime fiction by British novelist Dame Agatha Christie are on sale at a festival in honour of the 125th anniversary of her birth in Torquay.
Crime fiction by British novelist Dame Agatha Christie are on sale at a festival in honour of the 125th anniversary of her birth in Torquay.

Who better at the whodunit than Agatha Christie?

The prolific mystery writer authored 80 books, making her the most published author of all time behind only Shakespeare and the Bible. She also wrote the world’s longest-running play, “The Mousetrap,” which has been playing in London since 1952.

Christie’s stories have also been adapted many times for both TV and film. Her detectives, such as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, are recognized even by those who have never opened one of her books.

Nearly 50 years after her death in 1976, Christie’s work continues to draw in new readers and viewers as well as inspire writers.

David Jesudason for the BBC:

Yet adapting Agatha Christie as mass 21st-Century entertainment is not without its complications: they are products of the time they were written in, the mid-20th Century, and arguably reflect some unsavoury attitudes not least when it comes to racism, xenophobia and colonialism. The question is therefore: how do you translate and update Agatha Christie – or not – for the modern age?

On what would have been Agatha Christie’s 132nd birthday, the 1A Writer’s Room turns its attention to her long-lasting legacy.

We talk to three writers recently inspired by her work – one who turned their pen to non-fiction, one to short stories, and one to the screen. And, as always, you.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Avery Kleinman