Issa Rae has recently unveiled her ambitious new project: Adapting Tayari Jones’ Award-winning 2011 novel Silver Sparrow for the big screen. Jones verified to Oprah Magazine that Rae has optioned the film and will produce.
Silver Sparrow begins boldly with an opening line of “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.” It is a story about a father’s deceit, a family’s complicity, and two young teenage girls caught in between it all. Set in 1980s Atlanta, the novel centers around James Witherspoons’ two families–the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from both families meet and become friends, only one of them holds the explosive knowledge that they are sisters. “At the heart of it all are the two lives at stake, and like the best writers—think Toni Morrison with The Bluest Eye—Jones portrays the fragility of these young girls with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women, just not as their mothers,” reads the book’s description.
“While An American Marriage is my breakout book, Silver Sparrow is my heart,” said Jones. The prolific author is quite confident that Rae will bring Silver Sparrow to life in only the best of ways. “Issa Rae is an artist who has a real understanding and commitment to presenting the lives of young women with complexity, humor, and heart,” she told OprahMag.com. “I wrote Silver Sparrow as a tribute to my sisters. With Issa this labor of love is in safe hands.”
Last February, Oprah announced on Twitter that Jones’ newest, An American Marriage, is being turned into a film as well. We’re thrilled to watch both of these remarkably special works of fiction brought to life through the eyes of women.