Stephenie Meyer Released a Gender-Swapped ‘Twilight’, Everyone Panic

by | PopCrush
Twilight-LIfe-and-Death
Little, Brown and Company

This week marked the 10th anniversary of the first Twilight book, which — for better or for worse — birthed two of the most iconic characters in modern pop culture, Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Today (October 6), the world was surprised with a “reimagining” of the enormously popular YA story, titled Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined. The book finally (?) answers one question: What if Bella was a dude, and Edward was a lady? We’ll give you a moment to gather the pieces of your totally-blown mind.

Author Stephenie Meyer has written 442 pages of reworked mythology, in which Bella is now named Beau (Beaufort is his full, kind-of-terrible name) and Edward is an undead girl named Edythe. In fact, Meyer told Good Morning America that all of the characters’ genders are swapped, with the exception of Beau/Bella’s parents Charlie and Renee.

While some fans (ahem) may have preferred to see a full-length version of Midnight Sun, the retelling of Twilight from Edward’s perspective, Meyer has her reasons for choosing this reimagining instead. She told GMA she was chiefly inspired by criticism of Bella’s wispy characterization, and her position as a girl who always needs saving.

“My answer to that has always been that Bella is a ‘human in distress,’ a normal human being surrounded on all sides by people who are basically superheroes and villains,” she says. “I’ve always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and vampire female — it’s still the same story,” she wrote. “So I thought to myself, ‘Well, what if I put that theory to the test? That might be fun.’”

Meyer also sought to dispel the perception that Bella was “too consumed with her love interest, as if that’s somehow just a girl thing.” Beau is evidently “more OCD” than Bella, whatever that means, and “totally missing the chip Bella carries around on her shoulder all the time.” But is Beau as clumsy and accident-prone as Bella, who seemingly can’t walk across a school parking lot without face-planting or getting nearly crushed by a car in some Final Destination-style chain of events? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

The hardcover and e-book editions of Life and Death are out now.

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