My sincere apologies for such a long break since 17th Street was last updated. 2017 has been a massive year for me involving a relocation across the country and starting a new job which has resulted in big changes that have eaten into my leisure time considerably. This is therefore a long overdue update to catch up on the news of the past six months. If there is any major news that I have missed, please feel free to share it with me via the contact form or in the comments below, and I will include it in a later update.
First, as those who have been following TNT’s adaptation of The Alienist would know, filming has now wrapped up and the second trailer for the series was released last month. It can be viewed below. The premiere date for US audiences has been announced as 22 January 2018, so there’s not long to go now.
In addition to the adaptation of The Alienist, there was also an exciting announcement in September that Fox will be developing a one-hour drama series based on Caleb Carr’s most recent novel, Surrender, New York (2016). According to Variety, Richard Wenk (The Magnificent Seven, The Equalizer, The Expendables 2) will be writing and executive producing, with Gail Berman, Joe Earley, and Richard Arlook also on board as executive producers. Curiously, the plot synopsis provided with the announcement indicated that protagonist Dr. Trajan Jones “joins forces with the local state trooper Penelope Howell”, a character who is not in the original novel. Given this description, it will be interesting to see what direction Fox takes the adaptation.
Finally, the Center for Fiction, a literary organisation that connects readers and writers in New York City, has announced that Caleb Carr will be offering a Master Class in December as part of their Crime Fiction Academy. Mr. Carr will be giving “a presentation on his life and work” and will be discussing crime fiction writing. If you are interested in attending the Master Class, you can view the details of the event and RSVP at the Center’s website. The Master Class will be taking place on Thursday, December 7th at 7:00pm.
Caleb Carr appeared a podcast with James Altucher earlier this week. During their hour long discussion, the pair touched on numerous different topics ranging from Mr. Carr’s childhood through to his latest novel Surrender, New York. They also discussed the process of writing, and touched on his methods when writing The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. An excerpt from the interview appears below along with a link to the full podcast.
James Altucher (JA): “So, fast forwarding, you did a bunch of best-selling novels. You also did a lot of nonfiction books about military history, terrorism; you’ve done a ton of essays. I recommend people read all of them actually, because they’re all so intelligent. But I do want to get to Surrender, New York. Why now? Why is this … the first time you’re doing a contemporary thriller set in modern times? You’ve done future, you’ve done past — you haven’t done now.”
Caleb Carr (CC): “Two reasons. I reached a point in my life where I wanted to write something that would give people really close insight into my life without it being blatant. I wanted to return to that idea. Get a little closer than the Alienist books did. And also, I’m now going to do two more Alienist books.”
JA: “A sequel and a prequel, right?”
CC: “A sequel and a prequel, right. And they’re both going to be told by Kreizler.”
JA: “Which is different than The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness.”
CC: “Right, and I needed to find a way to speak in the voice of what’s always considered the man behind the curtain in these things. Like Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle wrote one story told by Sherlock Holmes — terrible failure. But Kreizler’s a very different character. I wanted to find a way to speak about these matters — about all the things we’ve been discussing, these psychological matters and personal matters — in a way that would make people comfortable … so it didn’t sound like a case file, so it didn’t sound like a scientific study. So it gave you insight into the character because people really are fascinated by Kreizler. They want to know what gives with this guy.”
Caleb Carr appeared on WAMC Public Radio on Monday, talking to Joe Donahue in an interview that can be heard on the WAMC website. In the interview, he primarily discussed current affairs but also touched on his latest novel Surrender, New York, the TV adaptation of The Alienist, and his plans for the next two Alienist novels–namely, revealing the long-awaited news that they will be narrated from Dr. Kreizler’s point of view. He appeared on WAMC again on Tuesday afternoon’s book show to discuss Surrender, New York in more depth.
New interviews with Caleb Carr appeared earlier this week on the August 20 episode of The New York Times Close Up and Literary Hub. In The New York Times Close Up interview, which can be viewed around 10 minutes into the episode (view here), Mr. Carr discusses his new novel Surrender, New York which was released on August 23 by Random House. In the Literary Hub interview, Mr. Carr discusses growing up with the Beats, living on Misery Mountain, plans for his continuation of the Alienist series, and his new novel Surrender, New York. An excerpt from the Literary Hub interview appears below along with a link to the full article.
Now Carr has published his first thriller in 15 years with Surrender, New York, a contemporary story set in the fictional Burgoyne County in upstate New York, full of ominous mountain passes and bankrupt factory towns. Returning to the theme of murdered children, several abandoned teenagers have turned up dead and a serial killer may be at work. Dr. Trajan Jones, a bitingly cynical profiler and a 21st century disciple of Kreizler, has been called in to consult on the case.
“I had planned to write a simple book about these dead children,” said the 61-year-old Carr in a telephone interview from his stone house on the top of Misery Mountain, in Renssalaer County, New York. “I was going through these New York State documents, and I kept finding references to ‘throwaway children,'” where in post-2008 Great Recession America, some desperate parents have been abandoning their children and even moving out of state. “It turns out it is a widespread problem. That is the pitfall of research. It takes you places you didn’t plan to go. It stopped being a simple book.”