Rights Available: Ta-Nehisi Coates' First Novel and a Cul-De-Sac Mystery

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates- Book cover - Publicity - H 2019
Penguin Random House

See The Hollywood Reporter's picks for hot new materials with Hollywood appeal.

Rights Available highlights The Hollywood Reporter's picks for hot new materials with Hollywood appeal.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Agency: UTA

Coates, the National Book Award-winning essayist and journalist behind Between the World and Me, debuted his first novel on Tuesday, after it was named the first selection of Oprah Winfrey’s new Apple-backed book club.

The Water Dancer follows a man born into slavery who discovers a mysterious power. When he escapes from the Virginia plantation and the only home he has ever known, he joins underground abolitionists with the hope of returning to liberate those he left behind. 

The story, which is set in the pre-Civil War South and blends history with more fantastical elements, has drawn comparisons to Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad. Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins will adapt Whitehead's novel for Amazon Studios, having tapped his leads this past spring. 

Raven Lane by Amber Cowie
Agency: APA

The novel, which is due out Nov. 12 via Lake Union, is a cul-de-sac-set mystery reminiscent of Desperate Housewives and the pulpier elements of Big Little Lies. The story focuses on one woman’s struggle to keep her sanity and secrets in check as her husband is arrested for the tragic death of a beloved neighbor.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.