Ask a Book Question: The 29th in a Series (I Coulda Been a Contendah)

Christian writes in to ask about a Hollywood star crossing over into the literary world:

What’s this talk about a novel (co)written by the late Marlon Brando soon to be published?

This is a story that has surfaced because of developments at last week’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Apparently years ago Brando toyed with the idea of turning a film treatment of his into a novel. He and a co-writer, Donald Cammell, worked on it, but the project was shelved. Sonny Mehta, the editor at Knopf, recently discovered that the project was still viable and, after discussing it with the interested parties, has pushed forward with the project. The novel is about pirates (natch), and it will be called Fan-tan. Look for it a year from now. Here’s the full story at the NY Post. The late Brando’s novel won’t be the first by someone better known for their work in Hollywood. Ethan Hawke has been penning novels for a while now as has Steve Martin. There are probably many others as well. I think that when one becomes famous enough, fame that’s limited to one area of creative endeavor becomes insufficient. Hence actors become directors, singers become actors, politicians become novelists, and so on. Call it extending the brand.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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