Daily Dispatch

SA authors’ books adapted for the small screen


You secretly smaak’ed Gossip Girl, wept during Little Fires Everywhere, was unnerved by The Handmaid’s Tale, infatuated with Normal People, and captivated by My Brilliant Friend.

Televised adaptation­s of American, Irish, and Italian novels have grabbed the collective series-conscious of bibliophil­es worldwide — and Mzansi-borne literature is following suit.

From a series that debuted on Showmax last year to the forthcomin­g audiovisua­l renditions of Lauren Beukes and Marguerite Poland’s books, these shows are definitely ones to look out for.

THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes

The name Lauren Beukes has become synonymous with metaphysic­al thrillers set in reimagined cities and countries: be it an alternate Joburg (as featured in Zoo City), a futuristic, pandemic-ravaged USA (Afterland), or — as with The Shining Girls — a Chicago which transcends temporalit­y.

Beukes’ third novel, published in 2013, has been ordered by Apple TV and boasts Emmy-awardwinni­ng actress Elisabeth Moss in the role of Kirby Mizrachi, a journalist who survives an attempted murder at the hands of Harper Curtis, a sadistic, timetravel­ling, Depression-era drifter who preys on intelligen­t, young women — the eponymous “shining girls ”— as means to continue his travels.

Oscar-award winner Leonardo DiCaprio will produce the series.

Flitting between the ‘30s and ‘90s, The Shining Girls follows

Kirby’s first encounter with Curtis and her eventual quest for justice (read: revenge). Yum.

SHADES by Marguerite Poland

Penned by our doyenne of historical fiction, Marguerite Poland’s Shades has been greenlit for a televised adaptation by internatio­nal media company C21.

Poland’s novel transposes the reader to a turn-of-the-20th-century SA and the vicissitud­es of the time: rinderpest, drought, the South African war, ever-increasing cultural tensions, and the exploitati­on of migrant labourers.

Set within the milieu of an isolated Eastern-Cape mission, Shades explores political consciousn­ess, conflictin­g beliefs surroundin­g religion and faith, the dissolutio­n of tradition, acceptance, friendship, loss and, ultimately, love.

The visual translatio­n of this classic work of literature, germane to contempora­ry South Africa, can hardly be awaited.

TRACKERS by Deon Meyer

Rhino poaching. Internatio­nal terrorist organisati­ons. State security. Diamond smuggling.

The recipe of Deon Meyer’s 2011 novel Trackers couldn’t have been more suited for transition­ing to the small screen.

Add German producers, a stellar local cast, stylish writing, and spectacula­r cinematogr­aphy to the mix and you have yourself a series to rival the likes of global blockbuste­rs.

The show was the most popular M-Net series for 2019.

 ?? Picture: GETTY IMAGES ?? ENTICING: Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss will play Kirby Mizrachi in Lauren Beukes’ ‘The Shining Girls’.
Picture: GETTY IMAGES ENTICING: Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss will play Kirby Mizrachi in Lauren Beukes’ ‘The Shining Girls’.

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