Thursday, November 29, 2018

Fran Hawthorne's "The Heirs"

Fran Hawthorne spent more than three decades as a reporter and editor (on staff at Fortune and BusinessWeek; as a regular contributor to The New York Times and many other publications), and as the author of award-winning nonfiction books, before finally returning to her childhood dream: writing fiction.

Her debut novel The Heirs was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in May 2018 and sold out its first printing within two months. It’s a story of second-generation Holocaust guilt among soccer families in suburban New Jersey in 1999.

Here Hawthorne imagines the dream cast for the movie version of The Heirs:
Four of the six main characters in The Heirs are women over 40; in fact, one is 72 years old. In an industry where women are ignored after age 30, I figure that my casting call would attract some attention.

I mean, how could Barbra Streisand turn down the juicy part of Rose Ritter, a no-nonsense Jewish grandmother who has refused for 50 years to discuss how she survived the Holocaust in Poland? Rose even lived in Streisand’s native Brooklyn for many years.

Angelina Jolie actually looks more like my vision of Natalie, the cousin -– tall, confident, stylish -- rather than the more fumbling protagonist Eleanor But I don’t suppose she’d settle for a Best Supporting Oscar. Okay, Jolie can be Eleanor; I’ll just rewrite Eleanor’s description a little. (A lot.)

Too bad Mark Ruffalo has gone grey. I picture the sexy, divorced soccer coach, also named Mark, as the version of Ruffalo in the 2010 film The Kids Are All Right.

Obviously, Rosanne Korenberg (co-executive producer of I, Tonya) will produce the film. She says my novel is “a compelling read.”

And might there be a bit part for me? Perhaps Rose’s mother in Poland? After all, I did some acting in community theater about 30 years ago. And I know exactly what the author wants in every character.
Visit Fran Hawthorne's website.

--Marshal Zeringue