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Hulu orders "Normal People" series; Nicole Dennis-Benn on representation in fiction

Nicole Dennis-Benn. Photo: Jason Berger

Anna North is working on a Western. Outlawed, “a feminist Western following a young midwife through her initiation into the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West,” will be published by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Hulu has ordered a series based on Sally Rooney’s Normal People. The twelve-episode series will be written by Rooney along with Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, and will be directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie MacDonald. Filming begins next week, and the series will air next year.

Vox’s Dara Lind is joining ProPublica’s DC newsroom as an investigative reporter.

“Growing up, I never read characters who looked like me, who sounded like me. For me, it’s important to do this for another person, for another woman of color, another Jamaican to see that our people exist on the page,” Patsy author Nicole Dennis-Benn tells the New York Times. “I tap into issues that could actually be anybody’s experiences, regardless of who they are, their culture, their race, their background: motherhood, sexuality, class and colorism. I want to tap into those things but actually use protagonists who look like me — queer, black, working-class Jamaicans.”

Lynn Steger Strong reflects on the power of using the first-person plural in literature. “The ‘I’ forces a book to look inside an individual’s experience, even as our present moment seems to suggest that inwardness might not have the power that fiction often thinks it does,” she writes. “The ‘we,’ by contrast, seems to acknowledge the ways in which we are not wholly a product of our wants and fears and interests. It is the group as character, watching a collective attempt to function, act upon the individuals that live inside it, assert opinions, act on, for, and against other groups.”