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Jacqui L’Ange’s The Seed Thief will be made into a film. Photo from LitNet.co.za.

Jacqui L’Ange’s debut novel, The Seed Thief, will be made into a film. According to The Reading List, rights to the novel have been bought by indie producer Rodrigo Chiaro for an “international co-production, with links to Brazil, Panama, Europe, Singapore, as well as South Africa.”

Published by Umuzi in 2015, The Seed Thief was shortlisted for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature and longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award. Here is a description from Penguin Random House South Africa.

When botanist Maddy Bellani is asked to travel to Brazil to collect rare seeds from a plant that could cure cancer, she reluctantly agrees. Securing the seeds would be a coup for the seed bank in Cape Town where she works, but Brazil is the country of her birth and home to her estranged father.Her mission is challenging, despite the help of alluring local plant expert Zé. The plant specimen is elusive, its seeds guarded by a sect wary of outsiders. Maddy must also find her way in a world influenced by unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies and the selfish motives of others.

Entrancing and richly imagined, The Seed Thief is a modern love story with an ancient history, a tale that moves from flora of Table Mountain to the heart of Afro-Brazilian spiritualism.

Rodrigo Chiaro is said to have “high expectations for the film” and has been quoted as saying that he is “captivated by this formidable book.”

Also an editor and scriptwriter, Jacqui L’Ange is based in Cape Town. She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A campaign and expedition writer for UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh, she has edited a number of magazines including O: The Oprah Magazine, South Africa and Psychologies. She has written and edited films and television dramas for the national broadcaster SABC and the South African pay channel M-Net.

Jacqui L’Ange’s The Seed Thief joins a growing number of African novels to cross into the movie industry in the past five years: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation, Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls, and this year, Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death?.

Congratulations to Jacqui L’Ange.

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OTOSIRIEZE is a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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