Celeste Ng, whether you have heard the name or not, is one of the most powerful writers of our time. Her books have weaved themselves seamlessly into the lives of more than two and a quarter million people. It is a staggering number of souls that many authors strive to infiltrate. Her debut novel Everything You Never Told Me will soon hit the big screen and will star the gifted Julia Roberts. Meanwhile, her other novel Little Fires Everywhere is being developed for television by Hello Sunshine, which is a production company founded by Reese Witherspoon.
In her books, she illustrates the struggles that many face in the United States, predominantly in relation to race. Everything I Never Told You tells the story of the daughter of an interracial couple. It takes place in the 70s, which means it had only just become legal to marry someone who was not your race in the United States. This book is a beautifully written demonstration of what it is like to come from an immigrant family and how race effects not only life outside your family, but within it. It provides a glimpse into a family dynamic that is delicate and full of history. Little Fires Everywhere follows a family who wants to adopt a Chinese-American baby abandoned by her mother and how this situations divides their suburban Ohio town. It highlights a powerful points about class, race and family and became one of last year’s most popular books. Ng explores characters so fluidly that we as readers start to explore the characters ourselves. Ng’s writing transcends these pieces into works of art that penetrates the hearts of readers.
Image Via Penguin Random House
Ng uses not just her books, but her platform, for literary activism. In just the past month, she joined a bunch of other writers who are calling for the right to give their characters rights in their future novels; this is to raise money for immigrant families who wish to reunite with their families. Her twitter has a following of 95,000 followers and instead of using this platform for just herself, she uses it as a platform for voices, she believes, deserve to be heard.
Image Via Celeste Ng Twitter
Being a daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong, Ng said in an interview with the New York Times that she “doesn’t want to be the single story of the young, Asian-American woman writer” and that she wants people to know that “there are lots of other Asian women, even Chinese-American women, who are doing all kinds of stuff that I’m doing.” Celeste will continue to use her stance to help those be heard who deserve to be heard and encouraging us writers to continue with our voices.
Champion of book adaptations Reese Witherspoon is teaming up with Kerry Washington to topline and executive produce a limited series based on Celeste Ng’s bestseller Little Fires Everywhere, Deadline has revealed. The book was Witherspoon’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine’s September 2017 book pick.
The project came together at ABC Signature, with Hello Sunshine and ABC Signature serving as studio co-production partners on the show. Casual writer Liz Tigelaar will serve as executive producer and showrunner, as well as writing the show. Celeste Ng will act as producer.
Image Via Instagram
The novel follows two families in early 1990s Shaker Heights, Ohio, where Ng grew up. The Richardsons and the Warrens are brought together by their children, while the town is shaken by a custody battle over an adopted baby. It explores themes of loyalty, race, class, and coming of age.
I am currently reading it and can confirm that it will translate to TV extremely well.
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
The film will be made by Dreamworks, and Paula Hawkins will executive produce. Jared LeBoff and La La Land‘s Marc Platt will produce.
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare.
One woman, the mysterious “Eve Black,” is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.
Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously dramatic father-son collaboration that feels particularly urgent and relevant today.
The rights have been purchased by Anonymous Content, with Stephen and Owen both co-creating what will be a TV series. Oscar-winning producer Michael Sugarand Ashley Zalta will produce.
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s production company, has optioned the book for a television series.
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?
Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally will be producing the movie adaptation along with Saunders.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
Reese’s Hello Sunshine strikes again, with rumors she will star in the film!
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
AndSimon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
E! is developing this Breakfast Club-inspired thriller into a television series.
Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.
Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.
With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.
The book has been acquired byby Scott Rudin Productions, but we’re not yet sure if it will be a movie or series.
So what is it that makes Ng’s book such a popular drama and page-turner? It creates suspense and pulls us through every page, but what exactly makes it so appealing? Her son may have played a part in that.
Celeste Ng recently spoke with The Atlantic where she revealed how the must-have children’s book Goodnight Moon inspired her to write Entertainment Weekly‘s #1 Must-Read Book for Fall.
I do recall my mother saying she would read it to my sisters and I before bed and it always seems to be the first book someone gifts to a new mother or mother-to-be. It follows the simple images of bunnies in a cozy little room and with each page turn, time passes along as the youngster in bed whishes the moon, and several other things, goodnight.
Image Via Goodreads
Now, if you look at the image, it’s cute and adorable with all those complimentary colors, but does it really make total sense? There’s a balloon, two playing kittens, a fireplace, a black and white portrait, and snow outside. This is so simple that it must mean something else. Celeste Ng tries her best to explain it, saying, “The text is just a list of items, and the artwork has no action in it. And yet, it really does capture something for us. Something more powerful than just pure nostalgia could explain.”
However, Ng explains why she has such a connection to it. The random objects and ambiguous imagery provides children (and adults) the freedom to make it your own. There’s no explanation why a black rotary phone is on the baby bunny’s nightstand. Ng explained her son’s idea that the balloon is there because it’s the bunny’s birthday. Perhaps it is, but perhaps there’s another reason.
That’s such a natural instinct– our minds are always trying to impose some kind of meaning. We instinctively resist the idea that these are just random objects, a bunch of stuff just lying around a room. Whether it’s a child or adult reader, the impulse is to invent stories that explain how things in the room connect. We can’t help trying to answer the question why— which, for me, is the fundamental question of fiction.
Our minds were just blown with that one. Ng makes a really valid point. Just like in her novel, there’s a need to connect the unconnected. Naturally, as humans, we want things to operate in a logical way. Things are more familiar that way. “I think Goodnight Moon works in a similar way,” Ng says. “It presents you with a range of ambiguous details, asking you to make connections and supply cause and effect.”
Ng seems to have said it all. For such a simple book we’ve sure got a lot out of it. Maybe we should all look a little harder. We’ll surely be surprised at what we find.
Literary Critics aren’t the only ones going wild for Celeste Ng’s novel Little Fires Everywhere. Celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon, as well as famous authors such as John Green and Judy Blume are taking to social media to shower Ng with praise.
Witherspoon selected Little Fires Everywhere as her book club Book of the Week, taking to Instragram to say:
To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.
A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on
Notably, author and YouTuber John Green started a chain reaction of famous authors praising the book on Twitter. Tweeting that it was ‘maybe [his] favorite novel [he’s] read this year,’ Green began accumulating responses agreeing with his statement from authors like Judy Blume, Sarah Dessen, Roxane Gay, and Esmé Weijun Wang.
I am loving LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng. Maybe my favorite novel I’ve read this year. Anyone else read it?
Little Fires Everywhere, which follows the Richardson family and their relationship with a mother-daughter pair, Mia and Pearl, and explores themes of teenage love, motherhood and obsession, is Ng’s second novel. Her debut, Everything I Never Told You, was released in 2014 and won Amazon Book of the Year.
Featured Image Via Amazon, The Culture Mom and Variety