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Sharp Objects author Gillian Flynn and writer-showrunner Marti Noxon will receive PEN America’s award for teleplay excellence at the 2018 LitFest Gala, to be held Nov. 2 at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Noxon adapted the Amy Adams starrer for HBO, based on Flynn’s best-selling novel.
“In Sharp Objects, Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn expertly depict the ruthless specter of history and the hurt beating in the heart of women,” said Michelle Franke, executive director of PEN America in Los Angeles. “Literary and enthralling, Sharp Objects was the standout choice for the 2018 award for teleplay excellence.”
Released in early July, Sharp Objects stars Adams as a reporter who must confront her own personal trauma and rocky relationship with her mother (Patricia Clarkson) when she returns home to investigate a murder. In addition to writing, Noxon and Flynn also served as executive producers on the series.
Flynn’s credits also include Gone Girl, which she herself adapted into a feature film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. The crime drama received an Oscar nomination for Pike’s performance in the lead role. Another Flynn book, Dark Places, also got a film adaptation, starring Charlize Theron, in 2015.
Noxon’s writing résumé includes a number of TV series, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men, Glee and UnREAL. She made her directorial debut in 2017 with To the Bone, which premiered at Sundance and sold to Netflix.
PEN America’s LitFest Gala is a “celebration of free expression and the literary arts” that raises money to support advocacy for writers, journalists and artists threatened or imprisoned worldwide; research that addresses free speech issues; and the advancement of literary excellence and cross-cultural exchanges.
As previously announced, Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, will also be honored this year with the screenplay excellence award; artist Ai Weiwei will receive the artistic expression award; and PEN America trustee Marvin Putnam will be presented with the distinguished leadership award.
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, creators of the podcast My Favorite Murder and authors of the upcoming book Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, will host the event.
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