The Joys of Abstinence
Once the contracts are signed and the check clears, most authors don't see much love from the film industry. Fortunately for Tom Perrotta, he seems to have found lasting bliss in his relationship with Bona Fide Productions. Not only did Bona Fide produce the 1999 adaptation of Perrotta's Election (Putnam, 1998) and the Kate Winslet—Jennifer Connelly starrer Little Children (St. Martin's, 2004)—currently generating buzz on the festival circuits (see this week's cover story)—the company also hired Perrotta to co-write the script. So after the author turned in The Abstinence Teacher (forthcoming from St. Martin's)—about a sex ed teacher forced to teach abstinence when religious conservatives pressure the school's administration—his longtime film agent Sylvie Rabineau gave Bona Fide principals Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa an exclusive. Before taking it to the studios, Berger and Yerxa plan to attach a director (which shouldn't be difficult—the company is riding high with this summer's breakout smash Little Miss Sunshine). Lippincott Massie McQuilkin's Maria Massie reps Perrotta for lit.
Two U.K. young adult novels with intriguing pedigrees make their way to U.S. studios this week. Master of the Fallen Chairs (Orchard, fall 2007) is the first in a series by Henry Porter, author of Brandenburg Gate (Atlantic Monthly Press, Mar.). Porter has one of the better day jobs: he's the editor-in-chief of the U.K. edition of Vanity Fair. His latest is about a boy who moves in with his reclusive uncle and discovers a magic mirror that transports him to alternate dimensions—with nary a celebrity profile or Stasi agent in sight. Howie Sanders handles Porter for film.
Bloomsbury (the house that made Harry Potter) believes it has another crossover winner on its hands in Genna Malley's The Declaration (Sept. 2007). The publisher acquired rights to Malley's first novel, a dystopian fantasy set in the distant—though recognizable—future. Valerie Hoskins of VHA Associates is on submission with the book now.