Untitled Novel News

I noticed last week, the page for Charlie's book on Hachette's website has disappeared. Other people have noticed, too, because I'm getting emails.

I don't know why the page has disappeared, but fear not! The October date that was originally there? Probably just a placeholder (Amazon sometimes does the same thing when a book's announced--they put up a release date of January 2032 or something ridiculous, and then tweak it when more info comes in), and now that October's around the corner and we've heard nothing about the book's title or cover, it's probably a case of:

  1. Charlie hasn't finished writing it. I could be wrong, but he's probably not under a tight deadline. (What publisher would put Charlie under a tight deadline? And would Charlie sign onto a tight deadline to write his first novel? Particularly when he's got other stuff going on?)
  2. Maybe he's finished it and now it's being edited and stuff? (The publishing process is long, man.) And/or they're jazzing up a new web page for the book?
  3. Charlie has been busy with other stuff. Which is sort of like #1, but this list needs to be longer than 2 possibilities.
  4. Charlie has abandoned it. (But I doubt it. I would put this low on the scale of possibilities.)
  5. Something else.

So, you know. Fear not. It's probably nothing.

 Before:hatchette

 

After:hatchette2

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TA-DA:

hatchette

Clicky clicky. What does this mean? How firm is this October 3 date? (My guess: probably not firm. Possibly even Charlie is reading this thinking OHMYGOD  WTF OCTOBER, I SHOULD GET STARTED ON THAT. But I'm usually wrong about things.) Is the title of the novel actually Untitled Charlie Kaufman? Because that would be Kaufmanly. It's not likely, I know.

The book isn't listed on Amazon or the other usual places, but I'll be sure to make an excited post when it is.

Big thanks to Patrick on our FB page!

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I stumbled across a HuffPo interview from March, conducted on the last day of Anomalisa's press cycle, and in it Charlie gives a couple more details about the novel he's writing for Grand Central:

"[...] I'm writing a novel now," Kaufman told HuffPost. "It [is] kind of a way out. Or at least theoretically a way out from this business."

[...]

The upcoming Kaufman novel in his own words “is by design something I think is impossible to make into a movie. Sort of the opposite of what you're usually trying to do with a novel these days. It's like, it cannot be made. And that's what I set out to do."

And what's it about?

"It's about a movie," the writer said. "An impossible movie." (Source)

Also this:

Kaufman is still writing a separate screenplay for "a sprawling satire about the United States," but he's unsure if he'll get the money to make it.

His head will explode if a studio offers to pony up $100 million to adapt the unfilmable novel about the impossible movie.

I wonder if Charlie's read any David Foster Wallace. I'll bet he has.

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Still no word on what it's called, what it's about, when we'll see it, or if it has even been written yet, but the New York Observer has a small interview with Charlie's editor at Grand Central, Ben Greenberg.

"I've been chasing after Charlie for years," Mr. Greenberg told The Observer. "Without ever having spoken to him. It was just an idea."

Grand Central snagged the novel in a pre-empt, after exclusive negotiations. (Mr. Kaufman is represented by Claudia Ballard at William Morris Endeavor, which also represents his screen work.)

[...] "It was just something that he wasn't going to do until he wanted to do it," he said. (Elliptical! Not unlike a Kaufman screenplay.) (Source)

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This is pretty major and pretty awesome. Deadline reports:

Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is putting that cosmic mind of his toward his first book. Kaufman, whose scripts include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Human Nature and Being John Malkovich, has just closed a deal for his first novel for Grand Central Publishing, I'm told. The subject of the novel is being kept under wraps. (Source)

That's all we know.

I came to Charlie's work as a reader -- I was into his scripts before I'd seen his films. I'm much more of a reader than a film-goer. For years, now, there have been rumours and suggestions that Charlie would or should try writing a novel. This is gonna be very interestin' indeed, if it happens.

Thanks to Justin!

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