Friday, January 29, 2021

Keisha Bush's "No Heaven for Good Boys"

Keisha Bush was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her MFA in creative writing from The New School, where she was a Riggio Honors Teaching Fellow and recipient of an NSPE Dean’s Scholarship. After a career in corporate finance and international development that brought her to live in Dakar, Senegal, she decided to focus full-time on her writing. She lives in East Harlem.

Here Bush dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, No Heaven For Good Boys:
No Heaven For Good Boys is an Oliver Twist like tale, but with a grittier City of God mixed with a bit of Beasts of No Nation.

Ten years ago, I wanted Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, the directors of City of God to direct the film adaptation of No Heaven For Good Boys. I watched their film at the Angelica Film Center in SoHo and was entranced, it was so visceral and raw.

Now, in 2021, there are so many great American directors, not to mention great Senegalese directors, but to narrow it down, I’d be interested in either a Gina Prince-Bythwood film, or Cary Joji Fukunaga, or even perhaps a collaboration bringing their two styles together, like City of God.

I think in terms of actors, there are roles in the book for a diverse cast that includes Senegalese, Americans, French, and British actors. I think of Paula Patton or Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the young American mother who is married to a Senegalese ambassador, and they have a young son who befriends the main characters in the novel.

The main protagonists are children and I would actually like to see some of the talibé roles in the book cast with actual runaway and former talibé in the country, if possible. It would give the local talibé a way to earn income and experience a world outside of what they know. The child actors from Beasts of No Nation (and most definitely City of God) would be too old for the roles in No Heaven For Good Boys, as the main protagonist is 6 years old and his cousin is 11 years old, with none of the boys older than 13 years old, and because they are undernourished and abused they look younger and smaller than their actual ages.

Lupita would slam dunk the role of the main characters mother, and for the father perhaps Peter Mensah, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, or even Idris Elba - any of three have the skills to pull off the antagonist role of the religious teacher of the boys.
Visit Keisha Bush's website.

--Marshal Zeringue