Latest Acquisitions and Adaptations
By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Molly Pearce and Niamh Parr
Ifeakandu’s Debut Novel Acquired for US and UK Publication
The debut novel by Arinze Ifeakandu, winner of the 2023 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, has been secured for publication in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and in the US by Scribner. The deals were handled by Lettice Franklin at W&N and Rebekah Jett at Scribner, with Ifeakandu being represented by Jin Auh at The Wylie Agency. The novel, Say You’re Here will explore similar themes to those covered in Ifeakandu’s prize-winning short story collection, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things, including queer love and Nigerian identities. The story will focus on the relationship between two men – Kachi, a graduate student who has come to the US from Nigeria, and Noah, a married and closeted businessman – as they navigate their evolving lives alongside their unexpected relationship. A release date has not yet been confirmed as Ifeakandu’s manuscript is still in progress, but we will certainly be ready for the news when it drops.
Reese’s Feminist True Crime Study Pre-Empted by Brazen
As the result of a thrilling twenty-four-hour pre-empt, a fascinating and feminist true crime title by Hope Reese has been bought by Brazen, an imprint of Octopus Books and Hachette UK, with UK and Commonwealth rights acquired by Romilly Morgan in a deal done by Emma Bal of the Madeleine Milburn agency. The Women Are Not Fine will take its readers through the unique period of 1911 to 1929, during which a group of women in the village of Nagyrév, Hungary, poisoned an estimated forty members of the local community. Earning the nickname “Angelmakers,” these women used arsenic to poison their husbands, lovers and other family members. In her book, Reese is determined to explore the circumstances that led up to this significant modern event – from the cultural and historical to the psychological – utilising her expertise as a long-time journalist. The publication of The Women Are Not Fine is expected in 2025.
From book to screen
What to watch?
Heartstopper returns to Netflix this month.
The second series of hit coming-of-age show Heartstopper makes its return to Netflix this August. Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, this season follows the second volume. Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor) are blissful in their new relationship. Beyond Nick and Charlie, it sees the development of Tao (William Gao) and Elle’s (Yasmin Finney) relationship, alongside that of Tara (Corinna Brown) and Darcy (Kizzy Edgell) as they study, relax and visit Paris. Alice Oseman – creator of the Heartstopper books – told Netflix that this series sees the characters “maturing in their romances, their identities, and their outlooks on life and the future” (Radio Times). You can watch the new series of Heartstopper on Netflix from 3 August.
Lessons in Chemistry on AppleTV+
Based on Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons in Chemistry, Apple TV+ has announced the production of a new drama adaptation based on this bestselling 2022 novel. Set in the 1950s, it follows the story of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist who becomes a TV chef because of society’s aversion to ambitious women. The novel digs deep into the perspective of women fighting to prove themselves worthy and a chance to change the status quo. Brie Larson is set to be the leading lady alongside Lewis Pullman, Aja Naomi King, Stephanie Koenig and Thomas Mann. The series will premiere on Apple TV+ on 13 October, with a total of eight episodes.
In the works
The Fall of the House of Usher miniseries coming to Netflix
Edgar Allan Poe’s spooky short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” is currently being adapted into an anticipated miniseries set to debut on Netflix towards the end of 2023. The series, falling under the horror genre, will focus on not one of Poe’s works but several of them. Each episode will meld together and bring to life the visions of Poe through the lens of an unnamed narrator. The upcoming miniseries is created by Mike Flanagan, known for The Haunting of Hill House (2018)and Doctor Sleep (2019), so we know we can trust him to deliver a terrifying but enticing experience. Excitingly, Mark Hamill will make an appearance in the series as “a character surprisingly at home in the shadows.” We can’t wait to see this miniseries later this year.