A 'powerful new literary voice' is soon to be unleashed on us. So announces editor Walter Donohue (of Simon & Schuster) who has just bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Palo Alto: Stories, a debut fiction from the Spider-Man and James Dean actor James Franco.
The hype describes the book as a 'compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth.'
Neither Hollywood fame nor handsomeness can account entirely for this further hyphenation of his career (he loves to paint, too). In the 'past two years, he has been awarded degrees in English literature from UCLA and Creative Writing from Columbia and has been accepted in to Yale's English PhD programme,' reports The Bookseller. At the very least we can be confident of accomplished techniques and few dangling participles.
No, I have not read Palo Alto - it's not due for release in the UK until next January (October 2010 in the US). So I can't judge. But still I inwardly groan at the news. Of course his fame and young sexy movie-going fan base have played a part in
It's all very redolent of Gattaca actor Ethan Hawke's literary poke as a Hollywood-be writer. Back in 1996 he debuted with his so-so novel The Hottest State and last published the deeply humdrum Ash Wednesday (2003). Sadly, his new powerful literary voice appears to have done a Julie Andrews since. Yet there's nothing publishers love more than established glamour with prosy airs, no matter how short-lived or frankly unreadable. Think of the photo-shoots, darling.
I can already see the James Franco GQ serialisation and exclusive interview with Piers Morgan.
I hope I'm wrong. I really do.