Today in books and publishing: Zadie Smith's run of good news continues, and HBO gobbles up another book for a potential series, Jewel writes and sings, and Stephen King's Dark Tower continues.
It's been a nice six weeks or so for author Zadie Smith. First Penguin announced that NW, her first novel since On Beauty in 2005, would be released in November. Now comes word that Eve's Bayou director Kasi Lemmons -- who, let the record show, was also quite good as Clarice Starling's roommate in Silence of the Lambs -- will adapt and direct On Beauty for the screen. [Deadline]
Another day, another literary property being developed as a possible cable television series: in this case, the novel is Brando Skyhorse's The Madonnas of Echo Park, which won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award last year. The project will apparently be about "the lives of a community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Los Angeles." Other bookish projects in the HBO pipeline include potential series (mini and non) based on: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Barton Gelman's Dick Cheney biography Angler, The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, and -- this one we're really rooting for -- a Michael Keaton-produced adaptation of Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip. [Deadline]
Jewel is getting into the celebrity picture book game. Seems like something she would have already done, but apparently appearing in Ang Lee Civil War movies and writing mawkish poetry leaves a professional musician with little time to write what looks to be perfectly nice book about a mother talking to her newborn. The book is called That's What I Do, and Jewel says it's based on her own experiences as a mother, which is how these projects typically go. The book, which is being published by Simon & Schuster's children's division, will be released on September 16, and is meant to be sung. It's also going to come with a CD, in which Jewel will graciously show America's parents the proper way to perform a lullaby. [GalleyCat]
Finally, you'll have to click through for it, but there'a audio of Stephen King reading a 19-minute excerpt from The Wind Through The Keyhole, the eighth and hopefully last installment in his Dark Tower series, which is scheduled to come out next month. Don't get us wrong: King has been one of our favorite authors since we were 11, but we could never get going on the Dark Tower books, which says more about our aversion to narrative poetry, high fantasy, and westerns-that-aren't-quite-westerns than it does the quality of King's work. His non-Dark Tower output has never exactly flagged, but we've always looked forward to the day he'd able to put this quest aside for good. And if you are a fan, one of those rabid, insatiable types who think Ron Howard and Brian Grazer shouldn't even attempt to adapt The Gunslinger without a budget equal to the GDP of Peru, you'll be in heaven, or whatever the equivalent is in the constructed language of the Dark Tower. [EW]