Thursday, October 3, 2019

Marina Budhos's "The Long Ride"

Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her novels include Watched, a follow-up to Ask Me No Questions, and takes on surveillance in a post 9/11 era. Set in Queens, NYC, Watched tells the story of Naeem—a teenage boy who thinks he can charm his way through life. One day his mistakes catch up with him and the cops offer him a dark deal. Watched received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature YA Honor (APALA) and is an Honor Book for The Walter Award (We Need Diverse Books).

Here Budhos dreamcast one of the lead roles for an adaptation of her newest novel, The Long Ride, which is about three mixed race girls during a 1970s integration struggle:
I could see this as a movie—one of those looking back at the 1970s movies or TV series of kids that are caught in between racially. In a way it’s like the new ABC TV show Mixed-ish (which I’ve seen a clip from, and it’s nice and canny). I’d like mine to have a bit of an edge, because it is a time of tougher racial tension, graffiti on subway cars, triple locks on doors, white flight and more outright muttering and the menace of violence.

As to actors or actresses, the thing is, I’d want the kids to be unknowns anyway; discovered, so they are natural.

As to one of the adult actors, that’s easy: I would love Mahershala Ali to play Jamila’s father. He is one of my absolute favorite actors working today. And he has precisely the stillness and wisdom to play Mr. Clarke—a geologist, an engineer from Barbados; a man who loves his wife, the rest of the world be damned; who moves with elegance and understanding.
Visit Marina Budhos's website.

My Book, The Movie: Watched.

Writers Read: Marina Budhos.

--Marshal Zeringue