Peter Hessler’s (China) Peace Corps memoir to be made into a movie

River Town 1

Chinese Lu Chuan will direct and produce River Town, the Tristine Skyler adaptation of the memoir River Town: Two Years On The Yangtze, by New Yorker staff writer Peter Hessler. Jamie Gordon and Courtney Potts of Fugitive Films are producing.

This Peace Corps memoir by Peter, his first book, will depict a celebrated American writer’s journey to China for the long-awaited Chinese publication of his memoir, triggering memories from 20 years earlier when he taught English literature as a PCV to Chinese college students while on the brink of a nation’s unprecedented change.

Lu’s film credits include The Missing Gun, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, City Of Life And Death and The Last Supper. He last directed  Of The Ghostly Tribe, which grossed $106 million in mainland China within its first weeks of release. He is in postproduction on Born In China for Disney, which will be released this summer in China and April 2017 in the U.S.

In addition to being a staff writer for The New Yorker, Peter was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011. His other books include Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present, Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory and Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West. All books published by Harper.

(Peter’s agent is William Clark who also represents Sarah Edman (Cote d’Ivoire 1998-2000), who wrote wrote Nine Hils to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village [Henry Holt & Co., 2003].)

Congratulations, Peter.

One Comment

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  • Great news! I loved Peter’s memoir, and I read everything he publishes in The New Yorker. Please keep us posted on the film debut.

    Thanks, John. Thanks, Peter.

    Leita Kaldi Davis
    (Senegal 1993-96)

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