〉 Eleven Hours has been named a ‘most anticipated’ novel of 2016 by The Millions, Flavorwire, and The Week.
Pamela Erens, author of the highly acclaimed novel The Virgins, has a new novel on the horizon, ELEVEN HOURS. Erens’ third book, which is set for publication by Tin House Books in May, has already landed on multiple “Most Anticipated Books of 2016” lists, and it’s that kind of praise that has the title stirring up some serious attention on the film rights market.
The story begins when Lore arrives at a hospital alone – no husband, no partner, no friends – with an explicit birth plan: she wants no fetal monitor, no IV, no epidural. Franckline, a nurse in the maternity ward – herself on the verge of showing – is patient with the young woman. She knows what it’s like to worry that something might go wrong, and she understands the distress when it does. She knows as well as anyone the severe challenge of childbirth, what it does to the mind and the body.
These two soon-to-be-mothers who, in the midst of a difficult labor, are forced to reckon with their pasts and re-create their futures. The young woman in labor must disentangle herself from a love triangle, while the nurse must move beyond past traumas to accept the life that’s waiting for her.
Erens, a former editor for Glamour magazine, saw her debut novel, The Understory, published in 2007. The novel was widely praised, and announced Erens as an author who posses both an enormous capacity for empathy and an incredible technical mastery. Her second novel, The Virgins, continued to build Erens’ reputation as a voice of unflinching honesty – telling the story of two outcast teenagers who suffer in the anguish of adolescent desire. Among its numerous accolades, the novel was named The Best Book of 2013 by The New Yorker.
The early reviews for Eleven Hours praise it as a crowning achievement for Erens, a powerful story centered on two strong women is an intimate exploration of the physical and mental challenges of childbirth, told with unremitting suspense and astonishing beauty. It offers two remarkable roles that could attract A-list talent, and centers on a subject rarely addressed in films – childbirth – yet (literally) effects everyone. Furthermore, the focused narrative limits the need for numerous locations or multiple settings, naturally streamlining the budget and thus making the production prospects that much more alluring.
There’s an appetite among audiences for female-driven stories – not just blockbuster franchises that cast women in lead roles, but stories that are actually told from a woman’s perspective. With production houses like Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard or the new nonprofit organization We Do It Together boarded by Jessica Chastain, Juliette Binoche, and others increasing their influence in the industry and their presence on the rights market, there’s even more opportunity than ever to get these female-centric films made.
Josh Lyons| Managing Editor