Octavia E. Butler's 'Kindred' to Be Adapted for TV | Book Pulse

The works of Octavia E. Butler have have seen a resurgence in popularity, most recently with news that a pilot for an adaptation of her 1979 novel Kindred is set for FX. In other adaptation news, The Queen's Gambit will see a stage musical adaptation, and Daniel Friedman’s Buck Schatz trilogy has been optioned for a limited series. In forthcoming book news, Alyssa Cole is teaming with illustrator ONeill Jones on the graphic novel Reject Squad, which is due out in 2024. Plus, ALA outlines information about the $5 billion Build America's Libraries Act.

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Buzz for Butler

The works of Octavia E. Butler, the renowned sci-fi author who passed away in 2006, have seen a resurgence in popularity over the past several months. Last week, her 1993 novel The Parable of the Sower hit the NYT Paperback Trade Fiction best-sellers list for the second time—the first being this past September. And this week there's news that a pilot for an adaptation of her 1979 novel Kindred is set for FX. Variety has details.

Plus, with the recent release of the Library of America edition of the first volume of her collected works, The New Yorker has a feature on Butler, "the sixth science-fiction writer to be featured in the landmark series, and the first Black science-fiction writer."

Also, in a fitting tribute, the spot where NASA's Perseverance rover recently landed on Mars has been named “Octavia E. Butler Landing.”


The NYT reviews We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker (Henry Holt: Macmillan): "Whitaker’s prose — both within the context of his narration and within his characters’ forced-sounding dialogue — hampers what is otherwise a moving, propulsive story." Also, Brood by Jackie Polzin (Doubleday: Random House): "It is companionable, cozy, smart and empathetic." Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure by Menachem Kaiser (HMH): "'Plunder' has many moods and registers. It acquires moral gravity. It pays tender and respectful attention to forgotten lives. It is also alert to melancholic forms of comedy." Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey's Head, the Pope's Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul by Brandy Schillace (S. & S.; LJ starred review): "...partly a history of transplant surgery — especially its fraught early days, when accusations of murder, racial bias and sadism were surprisingly common." Model Citizen: A Memoir by Joshua Mohr (MCD: Macmillan): "Mohr’s fiction has garnered comparisons to Charles Bukowski, and there’s a similar romantic urgency in his autobiographical storytelling, in the way his impulses lead him toward excess." The Fourth Child by Jessica Winter (Harper): "Winter’s greatest accomplishment is that she takes on enormous, highly charged topics — faith, the right to choose, female identity — and presents a story without one shred of moralizing." Plus, several sections of brief reviews: books on "Sexual Healing," fictional "Stories of War and Its Aftermath," "Short Story Collections for an Ever-Changing World," and "Three New Voices on the Fiction Front." 

NPR reviews How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue (Random House): "The novel's reach could have easily exceeded its grasp, given the weighty themes and its span, but Mbue reaches for the moon and, by the novel's end, has it firmly held in her hands."

USA Today reviews Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda edited by Jesse J. Holland (Titan: Random House), which earns 3 stars: "...the best stories in this anthology should sate fans longing for the next 'Black Panther' installment from Marvel Studios."

The Washington Post reviews 2034: A Novel of the Next World War by James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman (Penguin): "This crisply written and well-paced book reads like an all-caps warning for a world shackled to the machines we carry in our pockets and place on our laps." Also, Foregone by Russell Banks (Ecco: HarperCollins): "Without ever collapsing into nonsense, it’s a remarkably fluid use of prose to represent the experience of delirium while wrestling to the final moments with the challenge of absolution."

Briefly Noted

Lit Hub recommends 22 new books out this week.

Bustle selects the best books of the week.

The Millions also looks at this week's notable books.

BookPage picks the best mysteries of the month.

Tor.com lists all the fantasy books out in March.

Book Marks chooses the best sci-fi and fantasy books of the month.

The Washington Post suggests the "Best audiobooks to listen to now."

NYPL rounds up "Books About the Internet As We Know It."

Book Riot looks at "20 Must-read Queer Essay Collections."

Erin Benzakein, Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias: A Guide to Growing and Arranging Magnificent Blooms (Chronicle), shares books that inspire her with Amazon. LJ interviews her as well, with more book suggestions

Alyssa Cole announced on Twitter that she's teaming with illustrator ONeill Jones on the graphic novel Reject Squad (Balzer + Bray: HarperCollins), which is due out in 2024.

io9 has an excerpt from The Desert Prince by Peter V. Brett (Del Rey: Random House). It's due out Aug. 3.

Tor.com excerpts A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers). It's out next week.

The Washington Post profiles Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual (Penguin Life).

Sister Souljah talks with The Atlantic about Life After Death (Atria/Emily Bestler: S. & S.).

Shondaland speaks with Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan about The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer (Atria: S. & S.).

"Can AI actually get to that empathy, by understanding human emotions, controlling them through something like a work of art?" Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun (Knopf: Random House; LJ starred review), ponders the future of writing in an interview with Wired.

Diane von Furstenberg discusses Own It: The Secret to Life (Phaidon) with Elle

Lit Hub's "5 Authors, 7 Questions, No Wrong Answers" column features Jakob Guanzon, Christine Smallwood, Dawnie Walton, Megan Nolan, and Lucy Ives.

Parade talks with Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection (Clarkson Potter: Random House).

Naomi Klein discusses How to Change Everything: The Young Human's Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other (Atheneum Books for Young Readers: S. & S.) with The Guardian.

The Rumpus interviews Melissa Broder, Milk Fed (Scribner: S. & S.), as does Electric Lit.

50 Years of Text Games has a history of the Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Wild Raspberries, a self-published cookbook by Andy Warhol, will be up for auction later this month. The Guardian has details on this signed edition of 34, which could sell for $50,000.

ALA outlines information about the Build America's Libraries Act, which, if passed, "would provide $5 billion to repair, modernize, and construct library facilities in underserved and marginalized communities."

Authors on Air 

A musical stage adaptation of The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis is in the works. The NYT has details.

The Crown's Emma Corrin is likely to star in a feature adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Daniel Friedman’s Buck Schatz trilogy has been optioned for a limited series. Deadline has the news.

NPR's Fresh Air talks to Walter Isaacson about The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race (S. & S.).

The New Books Network speaks with Ilona Andrews, Emerald Blaze: A Hidden Legacy Novel (Avon: HarperCollins).

Annie Auerbach, Flex: Reinventing Work for a Smarter, Happier Life (HarperOne), discusses work/life balance with the Keen On podcast.

The Today Show features Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman) by Dana Perino (Twelve: Hachette).

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Food Between Friends (Clarkson Potter: Random House; LJ starred review), is on with Ellen DeGeneres today.

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