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Sony’s Tri-Star division has pre-emptively picked up the movie rights to The Longings of Jende Jonga, an immigrant tale by first-time author Imbolo Mbue, herself an immigrant from Cameroon.
The manuscript was a big deal at last fall’s Frankfurt Book Fair where Random House made a seven-figure deal to pick up the U.S. rights.
The novel tackles themes of family, race and the American Dream as it tells the tale of Jonga, a West African who finds a job as a chauffeur for a high level executive at Lehman Brothers. Jonga’s wife is hired by the exec’s wife and the family become close. But Jonga’s life in America takes an incredibly challenging turn when the 2008 financial meltdown happens.
The book is due to be published April 2016.
The book was flagged early by Sony Pictures literary executive Ryan Doherty and the project will be overseen by TriStar exec Nicole Brown.
Mbue is repped by Susan Golomb Literary and Gersh in the deal.
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