Aural Report It’s a book award like no other: Where else but at the Audies could the fiction prize go to both Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections (in the ”abridged” audiobook category) and Stephen King and Peter Straub‘s The Talisman (unabridged)? The Audie Awards, which are nothing if not inclusive, also honored Harlan Coben‘s Tell No One for mystery fiction, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for classic fiction, and David McCullough’s John Adams biography—twice (it won for both the abridged and unabridged versions). According to Robin Whitten, editor of AudioFile magazine, the Audies are not just about how good the original book is. The Corrections, for instance, ”is being celebrated because the performance itself is so good,” she says, referring to the reading by indie film regular Dylan Baker (Happiness).
Happy Hooking Here’s a Cinderella story. Onetime working girl Tracy Quan can rest assured that her Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl: A Nancy Chan Novel has found its Prince and Princess Charming. With all his firsthand knowledge of Sex and the City, Darren Star was an obvious choice to snap up the film rights. And now Julia Roberts‘ Shoelace Productions has joined the party. Their sexy partnering lends the project a certain amount of hooker cred that isn’t lost on Salon.com columnist Quan. ”The union of Darren and Julia is so perfect,” says the author. ”He understands call girls, that we can act very much like a girl but think more like a man. And Julia played a prostitute in Pretty Woman, so it makes perfect poetic sense that she’s doing the producer thing here.” Quan says her novel ”was influenced by everything from Moll Flanders to the role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar” to Pretty Woman. ”The story of Nancy Chan is the result of all those myths coming together, with The Happy Hooker thrown in there.” — Matthew Flamm and Karen Valby