HBO’s Insecure‘s fourth season won’t come to our screens until 2020, but its star and creator Issa Rae will remain busy with adapting bestselling authorTayari Jones’s Silver Sparrowinto a film.
Image Via Amazon
Published by Algonquin Books, this 2012 novel is about two families whose daughters form a close friendship as they grow up during the 1980s in Atlanta, although only one of the daughters is aware that she and her friend are actually sisters.
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The book was lauded by critics, however one of the most notable was Leigh Haber, books editor at Oprah.com, who wrote, “Why isn’t Jones a household name, and why isn’t this unputdownable book on every must-read list?”
Image Via Iowa City Press-Citizen
Now OprahMag.com has announced that “Rae has optioned the film and will produce” it, with author Tayari Jones commenting, “I wrote Silver Sparrow as a tribute to my sisters. With Issa this labor of love is in safe hands,” after praising Issa Rae as “an artist who has a real understanding and commitment to presenting the lives of young women with complexity, humor, and heart.” Tayari Jones’, An American Marriage, is being made into a movie by Oprah herself.
Image Via Variety
This is only the latest development in Issa Rae’s ever-growing list of upcoming projects. Just last year Variety reported that “Issa Rae’s production company, ColorCreative, has signed a multi-picture production deal with Columbia Pictures” and “under the agreement, ColorCreative will work with and back projects from emerging, diverse screenwriters”.
Firing off on all cylinders, Hollywood Reporter soon announced towards the end of January that Robin Thede would to star, write and executive produce the HBO half-hour sketch comedy show, A Black Lady Sketch Show, “alongside Issa Rae and her HBO-based Issa Rae Productions banner”.
Now Issa Rae is working on adapted Silver Sparrowto the big screen. Issa Rae is said to produce the film herself, although no one is quite sure who is backing her.
On Monday, Oprah took to the stage at the Apple ‘Show Time’ event, at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California campus, to announced that she will be teaming up with Apple to dominate the market.
Let’s back up, because that’s the only way to show how cool this all is.
The first half of the convention was mostly clearing away the smoke. It’s been known for a while now that Apple has been planning to enter the streaming wars: the question was: how?
What the event made clear is that Apple is still trying to sell people its vision of the future—a future filled with with what Wired keenly described as “a seemingly effortless lifestyle filled with always-accessible media, exclusive video games, and cash-back incentives from a literal titanium credit card”.
So basically the same future they’ve been selling since 1984 with the surreal commercial. Watch it below:
Back to 2019.
Let’s look at some of our new toys: A bundle of subscription services, including HBO, Showtime, 300-plus magazines, and two – count them TWO! – Oprah-endorsed documentaries. (We’ll get to those in a bit).
And, according to Imore, it’ll all be available on the Apple TV+. You don’t have to buy a new product to get it, it will be available on Apple TV app. Don’t know where to find the Apple TV app? It’s on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, and/or Apple TV HD, and it will come to Mac and smart TVs in Fall 2019
Sorry Android users. Apple hates you, because you’re competition. But you can still buy streaming sticks and boxes starting in Spring 2019. Or just buy Apple products. Remember, an Apple a day keeps the doctor away!
He’s making a TV show and Granite Geek summed it up pretty well saying “One of the shows being produced for Apple TV’s new streaming service [is] Steven Spielberg’s resurrection of his ‘Amazing Stories‘ anthology series, which was something of a dud in the 1980s”.
Taking a bad idea with a cool premise and remaking it so it’s, dare I say, cool? Sounds great!
Not sold yet? Maybe you’re a cynical person who doesn’t want a new TV show to catch up on. Even with entertainment giants Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and J.J. Abrams you’re go… ‘Who cares? What’s next?”
Oprah Winfrey, in case you don’t live on this planet, is amazing. Winnipeg Free Press dubbed her the ‘Queen of All Media’, while Forbes named her the wealthiest African American billionaire, and she’s been rocking those titles.
“There’s nothing more thrilling than being transported by a brilliant book — nothing…The only thing more gratifying than an extraordinary read is being able to share that experience with others, and we’re going to do just that by building the biggest, the most vibrant, and the most stimulating book club on the planet. This is a club, imagine, where Apple stores stream a conversation with the author and me across all the devices, across all borders, uniting people to stories that remind us that no matter who you are or where you’re from, every man, woman, and child looks up at awe at the same sky. So I want to literally convene a meeting of the minds through books.”
A meeting of the minds? That sounds cool, but what’s that really mean? It means not one but TWO Oprah-endorsed documentaries.
One will be called Toxic Labor, a documentary currently that, according to Entertainment Weekly, “will explore ‘the toll of sexual harassment and assault and violation in the workplace.'”
The second, unnamed currently, “will focus on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, with the hopes that ‘if we do our jobs right, we can replace stigma with wisdom, compassion and honesty’.”
In addition, she’s bringing back her Book Club and it sounds great! The Oprah Magazine summed it up with these perfect collection of words with, “[Oprah] plans to bring what she’s best known for—her journalistic expertise—to Apple by interviewing artists, newsmakers, and leaders. That’s right—not only will there be an Oprah-led book club on all of your devices, but you’ll also have new programming from Oprah right at your finger tips.”
Broadly speaking, this could be a revitalization for Oprah. Her book club was a recurring segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996 (the year I was born, which might mean I had something to do with it) which drew book reader’s eyes away from their books and TV viewer’s eyes to a new image.
Vulture notes that the with segment’s “popularity among viewers and literature lovers alike nearly eclipsing the prominence of the show itself…it would later be revived as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 when she expanded her digital media empire in 2012.”
Image Via AP News
However her selections have gotten rarer. Her last book was Becomingby Michelle Obama, released last October and still going strong, and despite selling a cool ten million copies, thus becoming the bestselling memoir of all time, it still came out half a year ago.
To put things in perspective in 2015, and I’m quoting straight from The Oprah Magazine here, “Oprah revealed she was starting a new imprint with Flatiron Books called ‘An Oprah Book,’ which would focus on publishing nonfiction stories. Now, three years later, we finally know what will be the imprint’s first title…” That book turned out to be Alicia Keys’s More Myself, and while it’s great for Oprah to put the highlight on the book, the time frame for her to announce and choose a book was concerning.
But when she walked on stage with Apple, it was a sign that she was in partnership and thus has to pump out more book-related content.
Image Via ABC
Yay! What could possibly ruin this beautiful moment?
According to CNN “absent was price information and a specific debut date, though [both Oprah and Spielberg new products are] targeted for the fall”. Yep, Apple company came with an air of bravado that could make one forget that even the earliest services aren’t coming in for a few months. This amnesia is understandable, given that Apple usually announces products weeks, if not days, before the product is available.
Maybe there’s a reason Apple didn’t reveal the pricing for their TV+ service at the announcement.
Guess I’ll stick to Netflix and books when I don’t want to leave my house.
Amy Reed works part-time as a PR person for a tech start-up, run by her college roommate’s nineteen-year-old son, in Palo Alto, California. Donny is a baby genius, a junior at Stanford in his spare time. His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their “multiverses”—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their lives.
Donny wants Amy to be his guinea pig. And even as she questions Donny’s theories and motives, Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the road(s) not taken. Who would she be if she had made different choices, loved different people? Where would she be now?
Amy’s husband, Dan—an unemployed, perhaps unemployable, print journalist—accepts a dare of his own, accompanying a seductive, award-winning photographer named Maryam on a trip to Fukushima, the Japanese city devastated by tsunami and meltdown. Collaborating with Maryam, Dan feels a renewed sense of excitement and possibility he hasn’t felt with his wife in a long time. But when crisis hits at home, the extent of Dan’s betrayal is exposed and, as Amy contemplates alternative lives, the couple must confront whether the distances between them in the here and now are irreconcilable.
Taking place over three non-consecutive but vitally important days for Amy, Dan, and their three sons, Come with Me is searing, entertaining, and unexpected—a dark comedy that is ultimately both a deeply romantic love story and a vivid tapestry of modern life.
Nobody has written so powerfully of the relationship between and within India and the Western middle classes than Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. In this selection of stories, chosen by her surviving family, her ability to tenderly and humorously view the situations faced by three (sometimes interacting) cultures―European, post-Independence Indian, and American―is never more acute.
In “A Course of English Studies,” a young woman arrives at Oxford from India and struggles to adapt, not only to the sad, stoic object of her infatuation, but also to a country that seems so resistant to passion and color. In the wrenching “Expiation,” the blind, unconditional love of a cloth shop owner for his wastrel younger brother exposes the tragic beauty and foolishness of human compassion and faith. The wry and triumphant “Pagans” brings us middle-aged sisters Brigitte and Frankie in Los Angeles, who discover a youthful sexuality in the company of the languid and handsome young Indian, Shoki. This collection also includes Jhabvala’s last story, “The Judge’s Will,” which appeared in The New Yorker in 2013 after her death.
The profound inner experience of both men and women is at the center of Jhabvala’s writing: she rivals Jane Austen with her impeccable powers of observation. With an introduction by her friend, the writer Anita Desai, At the End of the Century celebrates a writer’s astonishing lifetime gift for language, and leaves us with no doubt of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s unique place in modern literature.
Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love.
In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an “opus of classics both elegant and necessary,”* weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.
A housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique, which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking commuters struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon, until an old man shows him that they hold the secret to flying. A saleswoman in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won’t come out of the fitting room, and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices that her spouse’s features are beginning to slide around his face to match her own.
In these eleven stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien―and find a doorway to liberation. The English-language debut of one of Japan’s most fearlessly inventive young writers.
The list is concluded, and your journey of discovering these books has just begun! Read, review, and support these new authors as soonest!
Featured Image Via Oprahmag.com / Synopses are from Amazon
Back in February of this year, Oprah announced on Twitter that she was working on adapting her Book Club pick An American Marriage to the big screen.
Bustle is reporting that the announcement has resurfaced recently with the novel’s author Tayari Jones retweeting Oprah’s original tweet and clarifying her enthusiasm. All of this suggests the project is moving forward in development.
An American Marriage is both a suspenseful romance and an exploration of a married life in shambles, seen through the lens of letters sent back and forth between a black man falsely convicted in prison and his wife on the outside who must carry on alone while dealing with the romantic interests of a longtime friend.
The Handmaid’s Tale has recently returned for a second season and I’ve heard only good things about it. I haven’t gotten the chance to catch up with it yet and if you haven’t either you should look away now. Especially if you haven’t seen “Holly”, the 11th episode of the second season.
According to Variety, in this season of Handmaid’s Tale the one and only Oprah Winfrey lent her voice to play a radio host whose broadcast takes Offred and June by surprise. And honestly it took us by surprise too. If there’s anyone we’ll always recognize, it’s Oprah. So how did these two worlds cross paths? Just by chance really. Bruce Miller who works on the hit show explains:
We’d heard Oprah was a fan of the show, and had a story idea, and thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if… So we asked and she said yes, and it was a lovely, easy process… The radio segment she recorded was inspired by the free radio of the Allies from World War II. It was an absolute honor to have Oprah featured on the show, and especially thrilling as she was the one who presented us with the Emmy last year.
Image Via Vanity Fair
The writers didn’t know they’d be creating work for Oprah, but when they found out they were absolutely delighted. “It gave me chills,” said Kira Snyder, the writer of the episode. We know it was merely a cameo appearance, but many would agree that it made a fantastic show even better.