“Carol” screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, who received her first Oscar nod for penning the lesbian romance last week, is currently developing a TV adaptation of Rachel Kushner’s 2008 novel “Telex From Cuba.”
Kushner’s National Book Award finalist focuses on the lives of Americans in ’50s Cuba, just a few years before Fidel Castro will lead a Communist revolution that will radically transform the island nation.
Nagy would serve as showrunner if the series finds a home.
“I am thrilled to begin work on bringing the complex, beautiful, colliding worlds of Rachel Kushner’s magnificent novel to dramatic life,” commented Nagy. “The political, social and economic landscapes of Cuba in the 1950s is rich, exciting territory — and I look forward to exploring it all.”
Here’s the book synopsis for “Telex From Cuba”:
From the National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestselling author of “The Flamethrowers,” an astonishingly wise, ambitious, and riveting novel set in the American community in Cuba during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution — a place that was a paradise for a time and for a few. The first novel to tell the story of the Americans who were driven out in 1958, this is a masterful debut with a unique and necessary lens into US-Cuba relations.
Young Everly Lederer and K.C. Stites come of age in Oriente Province, where the Americans tend their own fiefdom — three hundred thousand acres of United Fruit Company sugarcane that surround their gated enclave. If the rural tropics are a child’s dreamworld, Everly and K.C. nevertheless have keen eyes for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them — the mordant drinking and illicit loves, the race hierarchies and violence.
In Havana, a thousand kilometers and a world away from the American colony, a cabaret dancer meets a French agitator named Christian de La Mazière, whose seductive demeanor can’t mask his shameful past. Together they become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raúl Castro lead a revolt from the mountains above the cane plantation, torching the sugar and kidnapping a boat full of “yanqui” revelers, K.C. and Everly begin to discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming. Though their parents remain blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what is to come.