September 4, 2013
Rachel Weisz to adapt Jennifer Gilmore’s The Mothers
by Julia Fleischaker
A feature on Rachel Weisz in last week’s New York Magazine contained a short mention of the Academy Award-winning actress “putting a film together based on Jennifer Gilmore’s novel The Mothers.” The Mothers, praised by the New York Times as “spirited and admirably frank,” is an intensely personal book for Gilmore, drawing from her own experiences and struggles with adopting a child. Gilmore told Terry Gross on the Fresh Air program:
“While my husband and I were going through all this, issues started coming up, ideas about race and class and what motherhood was for us and what it was in America, and I thought, ‘This would be great for a novel.’ I’m sure that I could’ve written a memoir about it. I’ve read many elegant and beautiful memoirs that have affected me greatly, but I really think like a novelist, and I wanted to be harder on my character than I probably could be on myself.”
The Mothers, published in April of this year, is the third novel in Gilmore’s increasingly acclaimed career. Golden Country, a 2006 New York Times Notable Book, was praised as a “real winner” and “a relaxed and expansive unfurling of the stories of three Jewish immigrant families” by the Seattle Times. Something Red, published in 2010, was another Times Notable Book — the paper called it “sharp and contemplative.”
Weisz is no stranger to book adaptations, having starred in About A Boy, The Lovely Bones, and The Constant Gardener, among others. For her part, Gilmore sounds excited about the film project, and joining Nick Hornby, Alice Sebold, and John LeCarre in the Weisz oeuvre, mentioning it happily on both her website and her Twitter.
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.