Daniel Levine’s debut, Hyde (which will be published in March by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and which received a starred review from PW), is a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from Hyde’s perspective. Levine has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the University of Florida, and he’s been represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management for seven years—throughout the composition of a previous novel that Levine ultimately set aside.
Writing a reinvention of a classic has challenges, but Levine found them motivating. “We are presented with a pattern on a piece of fabric,” he says, referring to the original novel. “I wanted to reveal the underside of that pattern, where the rough stitching and clipped knots are hidden. I wanted to write something Stevenson might have approved of, as a writhing outgrowth of his own nightmarish tale.”
Jenna Johnson, senior editor at HMH, received Hyde on submission and immediately saw how it would fit into the publisher’s list. “HMH has an excellent backlist in the gothic and historical fiction,” she says, adding, “Hyde sparks fascinating conversations about everything from Victorian science experiments to the nature of good and evil.” Johnson also likes the way the story reconfigures reader assumptions. “I absolutely love a story that challenges you to rethink,” she notes. “Here, it’s whether or not good old Hyde is as bad as everyone has always assumed.”