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Watch Trailer for THE ALIENIST TV Adaptation, Premiering Tonight on TNT

The wait is over at last for a filmed adaptation of the classic historical thriller, THE ALIENIST by Caleb Carr. Tonight, at 9:00 pm (ET/PT), TNT Network premieres the first episode of the much-anticipated mini-series based on the multi-million-copy selling novel.  

When THE ALIENIST was first published by Random House in 1994, the book was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list.  Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, this twisty tale conjures up Gilded Age Manhattan with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills.  It is an era in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.  Set in 1896 New York, amidst a backdrop of vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation, this psychological thriller stars Daniel Brühl (Rush), Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train), Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral) and Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) and was directed by Jakob Verbruggen. Turner Broadcasting is enormously proud of this programming, not only the most expensive filmed series in the history of the network, but also its most heavily promoted—which should bode well for Random House, which has 270,000 copies in print of the original and TV tie-in paperback edition. Watch THE ALIENIST Series Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9867sT-Y1M

Our 5 Nominees for 2018 Edgar Awards

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) has announced its nominees for the 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2017.  Five books published by Penguin Random House imprints earned nominations in the following categories: 

  Best Novel PRUSSIAN BLUE by Philip Kerr (Marian Wood Books/G.P.Putnam’s Sons) THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press)   Best First Novel LOLA by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown) IDAHO by Emily Ruskovich (Random House)     Best Fact Crime KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday) View the complete list of nominees here. This year’s Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners at MWA’s 72nd Gala Banquet on April 26 in Manhattan.

Alarcón, Moshfegh, Strout: Finalists for The Story Prize

The three finalists for the 2017 Story Prize, which annually honors authors of outstanding short story collections published in the prior year, are all published by Penguin Random House imprints:  

  THE KING IS ALWAYS ABOVE THE PEOPLE by Daniel Alarcón (Riverhead Books) HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press) ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by Elizabeth Strout (Random House) The Story Prize, now in its 14th year, announced that these finalists were chosen from 120 submissions representing 93 different publishers or imprints.  Three independent judges – Knopf/Vintage author and poet Susan Minot, critic and author Walton Muyumba, and Library Journal Associate Editor Stephanie Sendaula – will determine the winner, to be revealed at the Story Prize’s annual award event, co-sponsored by the Graduate Creative Writing Program, at The New School in Manhattan on February 28.   The finalists will read from and discuss their work with Larry Dark, director of The Story Prize.  Then Story Prize founder Julie Lindsey will present the 2017 winner with a check for $20,000.  The two runners-up will each receive $5,000.

TELL ME MORE: Random House’s Andy Ward on Kelly Corrigan’s New Book

In her new Random House book, TELL ME MORE: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, New York Times bestselling author Kelly Corrigan swings between meditations on life with a preoccupied husband and two mercurial teenage daughters to profound observations on love and loss.  Kelly’s editor, Andy Ward, Vice President, Editor in Chief, Random House, was closely involved with the creation of this collection of stories and shares insights into  his impressions of Kelly’s voice on the page, their editor/author working relationship, and who will find her new stories most beneficial in this Three Questions for an Editor interview. 

In TELL ME MORE, Kelly Corrigan writes about experiences that are both intensely personal and universally relatable.  What are the keys to her ability to draw readers into her life and prompt them to examine their own? [caption id="attachment_9124" align="alignright" width="300"] Andy Ward
(c) Danielle Siess[/caption] Three main keys, I’d say: humor, intelligence, and honesty. (Okay, and a fourth: a rare, instinctive sense of what is interesting in any given scene or moment. Good observers tell good stories.) Kelly knows how to draw a compelling scene, but it’s her honesty – her vulnerability and openness as a narrator, her willingness to portray her life as, at times, something of a mess – that resonates for me. Kelly doesn’t pretend to hold the secret to a happy life. She doesn’t pretend her family is perfect. She doesn’t gloss over her mistakes (see: “It’s Like This”) or her less-becoming impulses (“I Was Wrong”). That kind of honesty keeps the reader from feeling defensive, and maybe encourages them to engage in some introspection of their own. How would you describe the editorial process involved in putting TELL ME MORE together with the author – in terms of shaping the narrative and organizing the flow of the chapters? [caption id="attachment_9125" align="alignleft" width="225"] Kelly Corrigan (c) Mellie T Williams[/caption] I would describe it as highly iterative. As Kelly drafted and redrafted, the list of phrases in the book expanded and contracted and expanded again, from 10 to 8 to 14 to 12. The phrases themselves also shifted and evolved, as Kelly wrote her way down to the essence of things. One essay, “You Got This,” eventually morphed into “Good Enough,” which is less of a pep-talky bromide and more of a portal into the idea of acceptance. Another one of the essays, “I Was Wrong,” was initially titled “I’m Sorry,” and Kelly and I went back and forth on this, with me arguing that “I’m Sorry” was more universal and, thus, more relatable, and Kelly arguing that “I Was Wrong” was more powerful and harder to say and, in fact, far more meaningful in that it suggested real accountability. She was right, of course. That’s a battle I was only too happy to lose. The book is better because of it. Who do you think will get the most out of reading this book and why? Given my biases here, that’s a hard one to answer objectively. But in that spirit, I guess I’d say: anyone with kids, anyone who has had a brush with mortality, anyone who bolts awake at 3am, convinced that they are failing on every possible front, or anyone who is at the time of their lives when they are dealing with aging or infirm parents, and all of the pain and confusion and bewildering existential stuff that goes along with that. That’s an extremely wide swath of people, I know, but then again, this is a book that is ultimately about acceptance of our flaws, the desire to be better, and the search for what is truly important in life. I’m calling that universal. Kelly Corrigan reads an excerpt  from the "I Love You" chapter of TELL ME MORE:    

Our Authors Honeyman and Stott Win Costa Book Awards

Winners of the 2017 Costa Book Awards, one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes, have been announced and two Penguin Random House authors and their books topped the following categories:

First Novel Gail Honeyman for ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE  (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking) Biography Rebecca Stott for IN THE DAYS OF RAIN  (Spiegel & Grau) Congratulations to our authors as well as their editors and publishers. View the complete list of Costa Book Awards winners here. All category winners receive £5,000 (about $6,800) and are eligible for the £30,000 (about $40,795) Costa Book of the Year prize, which will be announced on January 30 in London.
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There’s a Book for That: PEN Literary Awards

PEN Center USA, The West Coast center of PEN International, which is the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization, held their 27th annual Literary Awards last Friday, October 27 in Beverly Hills, California. Hosted by Nick Offerman, the ceremony honored Margaret Atwood with a Lifetime Achievement Award and winners in 8 categories were announced. Congratulations to all winners and finalists!

WINNERS PEN Award for Creative Nonfiction: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul KalanithiWHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese (Random House) Also a finalist for the Pulitzer, this deeply humane memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal diagnosis attempts to answer the questions: given that all organisms die, what makes a meaningful life? And, as a doctor, what does it mean to hold mortal—and moral—responsibility for another person’s identity? For readers of Atul Gawande and Siddhartha Mukherjee.   PEN Award for Research Nonfiction: The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth LettsTHE PERFECT HORSE: THE DARING U.S. MISSION TO RESCUE THE PRICELESS STALLIONS KIDNAPPED BY THE NAZIS by Elizabeth Letts (Ballantine) The daring behind-Nazi-lines rescue of priceless pedigree horses by American soldiers in the closing days of World War Two—a riveting equine adventure story from the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion.   PEN Award for Young Adult Fiction: Outrun the Moon by Stacey LeeOUTRUN THE MOON by Stacey Lee (Speak) Critically acclaimed author Stacey Lee continues to weave adventure and romance in a novel set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake: A spot at St. Clare’s School is off limits for all but the wealthiest white girls. However, fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong knows that education is the best way out of Chinatown’s squalor.   FINALISTS The Association of Small Bombs by Karan MahajanTHE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS: A NOVEL by Karan Mahajan (Viking) Also a finalist for the National Book Award, The Association of Small Bombs is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scope.   Cockroaches by Scholastique MukasongaCOCKROACHES by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Jordan Stump (Archipelago) Scholastique Mukasonga’s Cockroaches is the story of growing up a Tutsi in Hutu-dominated Rwanda—the story of a happy child, a loving family, all wiped out in the genocide of 1994. A vivid, bittersweet depiction of family life and bond in a time of immense hardship, it is also a story of incredible endurance, and the duty to remember that loss and those lost while somehow carrying on.   For more on these titles visit the collection: PEN Awards 2017 Stay tuned for this week’s Friday Reads wherein we will honor the work of Margaret Atwood.  

There’s a Book for That! is brought to you by Penguin Random House’s Sales department. Please follow our Tumblr by clicking here—and share this link with your accounts: theresabookforthat.tumblr.com. Thank you! Did you see something on the news or read about something on your commute? Perhaps you noticed something trending on Twitter? Did you think: “There’s a book for that!”? Then please, send it our way at theresabookforthat@penguinrandomhouse.com

RESET: Ellen Pao’s Rallying Cry and Call to Action

Our new Igloo Book Buzz  selection is Ellen Pao’s RESET: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change,  to be published on Tuesday, September 19, by Spiegel & Grau.  In 2015, Ms. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world – and exposed its toxic culture and its homogeneity.  RESET is a rallying cry – the story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard, in Silicon Valley and beyond. 

[caption id="attachment_7806" align="alignright" width="200"] Emi Ikkanda
Photo Credit: Matthew Dunivan Photography[/caption] Spiegel & Grau Senior Editor Emi Ikkanda: “I was alongside the many across the country who were rooting for Ellen Pao during her gender discrimination trial, and I was thrilled when we first had a chance to meet to discuss what would become this extraordinary book, RESET. She was among the first in tech to stand up when too many were afraid to, and I was inspired speaking with her and hearing about how she wants to tell her story to help empower others. Far too many women and people of color will recognize their own office experiences when they read Pao’s book, and I love how she then talks about how people can come together to drive change. She writes about how, when she was CEO of Reddit, her team shut down revenge and child porn and the worst harassment sites. She also talks about how what started as friends sharing tech experiences over take-out grew to into a team that launched the award-winning, nationally recognized advocacy nonprofit Project Include. I can’t wait for her book to be out in the world, as so many are joining her efforts to make lasting change.” [caption id="attachment_7805" align="alignleft" width="200"] Ellen Pao
Photo Credit: Helena Price[/caption] Ellen Pao: “I wrote the book to take people into my experiences so readers can recognize their own struggles or empathize with others with similar experiences. I called it RESET because the tech world needs a complete reset. We need to clear the biases and power imbalances from tech to give everyone a fair chance to succeed. And that might mean shaking out the people who don’t believe in real inclusion, and replacing them with people who have been unfairly excluded. When I had first joined tech, I believed it was a meritocracy, and I was shocked when I was yelled at when I asked for equal pay and when I realized that there was no way for me to get promoted. It didn’t matter how much money I brought in, or how strong my relationships were with entrepreneurs. I didn’t have the right gender. Attitudes are starting to change as more voices come forward, but we have a long way to go. What’s important is that we’re telling our stories and standing up for ourselves and for one another. If we do not share our stories and shine a light on inequities, things will not change.” Here is a sampling of early praise RESET has received: “Necessary and incisive. As Pao detailed her experiences, while also communicating her passion for the work men often impeded her from doing, I was nothing short of infuriated. It was great to see a highly accomplished woman of color speaking out like this and hopefully this book will encourage more women to come forward, give voice to their experiences in the workplace, and contribute to meaningful change.”—Roxane Gay “When women assert ourselves, we confirm the bias against us, unconscious and otherwise. When we speak out, we identify ourselves as troublemakers. This is why I look forward to reading Ellen Pao’s account of her tribulations in Silicon Valley.”—Catherine Mayer, New York Times “Vivid [and] fascinating reading…The Broadsheet covered the Pao trial extensively, but it’s a very different experience to read her words now…. Her willingness to come forward paved the way for [other] whistleblowers… The ‘Pao effect’…is real—and, it seems, just beginning to make its influence felt.”—Fortune “Ellen Pao courageously confronted Silicon Valley’s venture capital world by calling out bias and discrimination. She emerged from a public trial, media frenzy, and a fierce battle against online harassment with her strength, spirit, and voice intact. In RESET, with deep intelligence and a gift for storytelling, Pao movingly and passionately recounts her path to activism and advocacy. Her book offers a rare glimpse into the gender roles and stereotypes that still pervade one of the world’s most profitable trading centers.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Meet Jenny Zhang, Author of the First Title from LENNY Books

Jenny Zhang’s SOUR HEART, her debut story collection, was published on August 1 and is the first book released by LENNY, the new Random House imprint launched in partnership with Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner.  Writer Jessica Mizzi posted a conversation with Zhang on Signature, a Penguin Random House online vertical that

provides readers with unique points of view built atop a literary foundation, making well-read sense of the world.    Here is an excerpt from Mizzi’s conversation with Zhang: Being a second-generation American is a truly unique experience – your sense of culture is stronger than those around you, and your family’s immigrant experience will always play a leading role in your life, despite how much time passes. Comprised of seven short stories, SOUR HEART tells the tale of Chinese immigrants and their descendants in America. Readers will get to see the immigrant experience through the eyes of young, second-generation, Asian American girls in this compelling piece of fiction. Heartbreak, old pain, and eye-opening discovery fill the pages of this debut, sparking emotional highs and lows until the very last page. We got the chance to speak with Jenny about her debut collection, and our conversation spanned the immigrant experience, family, reading, writing, and more. SIGNATURE: Before we dive into the book, I have to know: What’s it like to be the first author published by LENNY Books? JENNY ZHANG: I’m elated that my stories have found such a loving home! From its very inception, Lenny Letter set out to create a supportive, positive, inclusive space on the internet that does not shy away from complexity and nuance. I read things online everyday but sitting down to read a physical book without an eye on the neverending scroll of social media and news is unsurpassable, nearly fetishistic in its pleasures. Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, who founded LENNY Books together, also happen to have exquisite reading tastes – from obscure small press poetry chapbook to dishy memoirs to literary novels – and so it’s a real honor that they’ve chosen to announce their imprint with my stories. SIG: Though fiction, SOUR HEART is based on real events, such as the immigrant experience in the 1990s and the Cultural Revolution. How much research went into the development of your stories? How much is based on personal history? JZ: Growing up, I had a face that people wanted to tell things to and I grew up with adults who had so much to say. They had lived through decades of unbelievable poverty, starvation, political upheaval, chaos. Chinese people of my parents’ generation who lived through the Cultural Revolution knew so much of death at such a young age and the psychic toll those experiences left was immense. I knew the stories of the Cultural Revolution before knowing what the Cultural Revolution was. It’s weird to know the particulars of a history without ever being fully taught that history. It’s like standing on a puzzle piece and never having vision wide enough to see exactly what the pieces add up to. I avoided researching until after writing several drafts of each of these stories. I wanted to have the blurry vision my child narrators have when recalling a past that they never lived through but heard about so many times. Usually, when I got to the sixth or seventh draft, I realized that I needed to know more than my narrators knew, and so I turned to history books. Unfortunately, because I can’t read in Chinese, my research was limited to books written in English. To say that was extremely limiting is an understatement. Imagine writing a book about America in the 1960s based on books written by Chinese historians who never actually lived in America in the 1960s. SIG: Your stories dive into the hearts of young girls coming of age in New York City. Did you choose to narrate the stories with a female perspective, or did it happen naturally? JZ: It came about on its own, almost without me trying, like some kind of twisted immaculate conception. I’d hear voices in my head and I’d try to write them down. I had a spotty track record but when I did write down these voices, it would often lead to a scene or a character, and in some cases, an entire story. Some of these stories were only a page or a line for the first two years. I’d return to them from time to time and try to turn it into a full tale. Sometimes an idea reveals itself prematurely. Maybe that’s one form of writers’ block – when you want to write about something but you need to live a few more years, exist longer as a person before you are equipped to write it. It can be frustrating to write that way, but often ambition precedes skill. To read the complete conversation between Jessica Mizzi and Jenny Zhang on Signature, click here.

Oprah’s Next Book Club Pick: BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and O, The Oprah Magazine announced today the newest Oprah’s Book Club selection, Imbolo Mbue’s BEHOLD THE DREAMERS  (Random House). In this novel, Ms. Mbue explores colliding classes, cultures and dreams.  It’s a story of two fathers, a working-class immigrant

from Cameroon, hired as a chauffeur in the fall of 2007, right before one of the biggest financial crisis in history, and his lavishly wealthy employer, a top Lehman Brothers executive, and how their families become inextricably linked.   Watch Oprah making the announcement on CBS This Morning: “Fifteen years ago, I walked into a public library and borrowed my first Oprah’s Book Club selection–Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon –  and was so inspired by it that I began writing without thinking much of where my writing would lead me, never quite imagining that it would someday lead to this humbling privilege,” said Ms. Mbue. The cross-platform book club selection kicks off with Oprah’s interview with Imbolo Mbue in the August issue of O, The Oprah Magazine (on newsstands July 11). Oprah.com will feature video clips from Oprah’s interview with Imbolo. Imbolo Mbue is a native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for more than a decade, she lives in New York City.  BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, her critically acclaimed debut novel, won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was named by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of their Notable Books of 2016.

Fear Strikes Back in SHADOW MAN

shadow man book buzzThis week’s Igloo Book Buzz, the psychological suspense novel SHADOW MAN by Alan Drew, was published by Random House on Tuesday, May 23, amidst much buzz and enthusiasm from the media, fellow authors and inside Penguin Random House. Kate Medina, Executive Vice President, Executive Editorial

Director, Associate Publisher, Random House, said, “It has been a dream come true to work with Alan Drew on SHADOW MAN.  Alan knows how to tell a spellbinding story about characters who seem real, in a novel that also shows how the evil secrets in a suburban town can be hiding in plain sight, until one man has the guts to say, ‘Enough.’  SHADOW MAN is riveting to read, even as it reminds us of important truths about being human.” [caption id="attachment_6304" align="alignright" width="300"]Kate Medina and Alan Drew Kate Medina and Alan Drew[/caption] Alan Drew reveals, “SHADOW MAN was in part inspired by the summer of 1985 when Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker, terrorized the suburbs of Southern California. He preyed on neighborhoods where people felt safe, where they left windows open and doors unlocked at night. It was the first time I remember being truly terrified of another person. I was 15 at the time, and I’d always wanted to write about that moment when your sense of safety is shattered, as mine was that summer in my master-planned community of Irvine, CA.” Mr. Drew adds, “It feels a bit miraculous that this book is finally out in the world. It’s a privilege to publish a book, to have readers out there in the world, and I’m so thankful that these characters have a life beyond my little attic office.” Fellow Penguin Random House authors have been effusive with their praise:  
  • “SHADOW MAN revises the old detective story and turns it in several fascinating directions. Alan Drew writes with precision, subtlety, and a streak of suspense that does not often color the literary novel.”  —Colum McCann
  • “A home run—wonderfully imagined and wonderfully written, patient but propulsive, serious but suspenseful, grown up but gripping, SHADOW MAN is everything a great thriller should be.” —Lee Child
  • “Always thrilling and often terrifying, SHADOW MAN is a descendent of Chandler’s The Big Sleep. Underlying the grisly dangers of Drew’s novel is the forceful honesty of all good California noir, the necessary and clear-eyed exploration of the innate human truths that should and do scare us.” —Claire Vaye Watkins