Teens are going crazy for classics like 'Wuthering Heights' thanks to this One Direction fanfic

Anna ToddWattpadTodd with a fan at an ‘After’ book signing event.

Anna Todd’s One Direction fan fiction saga “After” has people around the world picking up copies of her bestselling books, but the series has also inspired young readers to reach for a completely different genre  — classic novels. 

After,” first published on digital reading platform Wattpad, traces a torrid romance between the fictional Tessa Young and a fantasy version of One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles. Harry and Tessa, or “Hessa” as they’re known collectively, make several references to tales like Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” in the book.

Here’s an excerpt from “After,” from a scene where Tessa peruses Harry’s bookshelf for the first time.  

“I scan through the titles and I am impressed by the owner of this collection, there are many classics including all of my favourites. I grab ‘Wuthering Heights’ and pull it off the shelf. It is in bad shape, the pages showing how many times it has been read.” 

In the fictional world of “After,” Styles has a thing for the classics and fans of the stories have taken notice. 

“The classic novels mentioned in ‘After,’ there’s a lot of younger girls who are reading them now,” Todd told Tech Insider. “It’s become a trend.”

Todd, known on Twitter as @imaginator1dx, says she regularly hears this from her fans.