Struggling UC Santa Cruz grad student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg is trying to write his thesis about the Bard. Kind of …Cut off by his father for laziness, and desperate for dough, Willie agrees to deliver a giant, psychedelic mushroom to a mysterious collector, making himself an unwitting target in Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs. Meanwhile, would-be playwright (and oppressed Catholic) William Shakespeare is eighteen years old and stuck teaching Latin in Stratford-upon-Avon. The future Bard’s life is turned upside down when a stranger entrusts him with a sacred relic from Rome …This, at a time when adherents of the “Old Faith” are being hanged, drawn, and quartered as traitors. Separated in time and place, the lives of Willie and William begin to intersect in curious ways, from harrowing encounters with the law (and a few ex-girlfriends) to dubious experiments with mind-altering substances.Wise or foolish, the bold choices they make will shape not only the ‘Shakespeare’ each is destined to become …but the very course of history itself.