In book news last week...
Variety is reporting that David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar) is signed on to play opposite Lipita Nyong'o in the movie adaptation of Americanah, a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This novel, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, follows two young Nigerian immigrants as they navigate race, relationships, and their futures in America. The movie, produced by Brad Pitt's company, Plan B, has no director or production or start date as of yet.
Australia's highest book award, the Prime Minister's Literary Award, was handed out on Monday night, though a last-minute announcement by P.M. Tony Abbott caused quite a shake up. The panel of judges had unanimously chosen Steven Carroll's A World of Other People, to win the prize. The Prime Minister, however, announced on the night of the book awards, that the prize was to be split between Carroll and his selection, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. This angered one judge, who told the press that the judges found Flanagan's novel to be "superficial, showy, and pretentious."
Hillary Mantel is facing renewed criticism over her latest book, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. The BBC recently announced its intention to broadcast the short story of the same name on Book at Bedtime in January. Former Cabinet Minister Lord Tebbitt has criticized the decision, has condemned the story as "perverted" and "hateful," and accuses the BBC of being deliberately provocative and showing bias against the Tories.
Knopf Publishing announced today that Judy Blume's next novel, In The Unlikely Event, will be published on June 2, 2015. The novel is a general family novel, based on Blume's own experience witnessing several plane crashes around New Jersey as a teenager in 1951 and 1952. The novel will follow people as they cope with the devastation of loss after these horrific events. This will be Blume's first novel aimed at adult readers since Summer Sisters, published in 1998.