Coen Brothers To Write Yiddish

Could it be? Is this a dream? Will the Joel and Ethan Coen adapt The Yiddish Policemen’s Union?

That’s the claim of British newspaper The Guardian. In a profile of Scott Rudin, the paper reports that Rudin “has already started working on the next Coen brothers film, an adaptation of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon.”

And, as it happens, it’s true, according to Chabon.

“[Rudin] swore me to silence, but if he’s letting the cat out of the bag, then I guess I can finally tell you,” Chabon said via e-mail.

According to Chabon, the Coen brothers have agreed to at least write the adaptation, once the writer’s strike ends. (They made the deal pre-strike.)

“I am, of course, over the moon about this,” Chabon said. “They are among my favorite living moviemakers. Three or four of their films are on my all-time favorite list. They are geniuses. What’s more, I think they are perfectly suited to this material in every way, from its genre(s) to its tone to its content. I can’t wait to see what they eventually do with it.”

The Coen brothers, of course, are the directors behind this year’s Oscar nominee No Country for Old Men. And before that, they directed the crime drama Fargo.

Rudin bought the film rights to Yiddish about five years ago based on a one-and-a-half page proposal. Rudin is no stranger to Chabon novels. He produced Wonder Boys, and also owns the rights to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

“Now we just need to get this strike settled,” Chabon said.

Yiddish Nominated for Edgar

The Houston Chronicle reports that The Yiddish Policemen’s Union has been nominated for the Edgar Award for “Best Novel.”

The Edgars recognize outstanding mystery writing fiction. Other nominees in the novel category include Christine Falls by Benjamin Black; Priest by Ken Bruen; Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman; and Down River by John Hart.

For the full list of nominees, head here. Awards are presented May 1.

Yiddish A Writers’ Fave

A poll of writers, celebrities and book critics ranked Michael Chabon’s Yiddish Policemen’s Union as the No. 3 fiction novel in 2007.

“Best-seller lists really only show people what’s selling, not what people are reading. Recommendations are personal because it means someone has actually read that book. And who better to ask than award-winning poets, novelists, historians and critics?” John Freeman, president of the National Book Critics Circle, told the AP.

The poll was based on nearly 500 votes from the likes of John Updike and Anne Tyler.

Chabon Named to Forward 50

The Jewish Daily Forward has named Michael Chabon one of the 50 Most Influential Jews.

The editors cite Chabon’s work on The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and Gentlemen of the Road as reasons why they picked him.

Sharing space on the list is Attorney General Michael Mukasey, director Judd Apatow, and George Soros.

Yiddish Makes No. 2 on Times List

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union reached the No. 2 spot on The New York Times Best Seller List for hardcover fiction.

The listing marks the highest any Chabon adult fiction novel has made it on the list. In fact, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the only other one to have been ranked. It made No. 16 for one week in 2001.