July 11, 2017

Moonlight director Barry Jenkins is working on a film based on James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Jenkins wrote the screenplay in 2013, and spent the intervening years getting permission from the Baldwin Estate. Gloria Karefa-Smart, Baldwin’s sister, called Jenkins “a sublimely conscious and gifted filmmaker” and said that his “medicine for melancholy impressed us so greatly that we had to work with him.” The film is expected to start production next fall.

Denis Johnson

The Library of Congress has announced that late novelist Denis Johnson will win this year’s Prize for American Fiction. The award will be accepted by his wife, Cindy Johnson, at the National Book Festival in September.

The Washington Post profiles CNN’s Jim Acosta, who has become a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s attitude toward the press. Press Secretary Sean Spicer has criticized Acosta’s reporting for being too opinionated. “If I were a mainstream, veteran reporter, I’d be advocating for him to knock it off,” Spicer said. “It’s hurting the profession.” Acosta has decided not to let the administration’s criticisms or his press-room colleagues’ lack of support get him down. “I’m having the time of my life right now. This is the biggest story of my life,” he told the Post. “I’m like a kid in a candy store.”

At Vanity Fair, Sarah Ellison talks to the authors of Politico’s Playbook newsletter, who are working on a book about “backroom deals and dramas on Capitol Hill.” Very tentatively titled A Hill to Die On, the book will be published by Crown in March 2019, after the 2018 midterm elections.

Roxane Gay, Alexander Chee, Celeste Ng, and Adam Grant discuss what it’s like to be a writer active on social media. While some, like Gay, were early adopters of Twitter, others were more reticent to join. “The Viking team and Whitney Peeling dragged me, kicking and screaming,” remembered Grant. The group also debated whether social media “is a force for good.” “This is a little like asking if a hammer is a force for good or not good,” Ng noted. “It all depends on what you’re doing with it.”

Advertisement