C.B. Lee on Rethinking a Classic Tale for Her New Novel, A Clash of Steel: A Remixed Treasure Island
From the History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today? Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure Treasure Island gave the world a number of familiar pirate tropes, like parrots on shoulders and X marks the spot. But it also helped lock us into a somewhat limited view of life on the high seas. Pirates and piracy have existed in many eras in many different oceans—and not every would-be adventurer is a young English boy living in the 19th century. C.B. Lee’s exciting new novel A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix provides a fresh look at a familiar tale. In this YA novel, two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly waters of the South China Sea. In this episode, C.B. joins Jacke for a discussion of what it means to remix a classic, her research into the ruthless pirate queen known as “the Head of the Dragon,” and more.