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Independent Lit Gems That Became Films

List of independent books that became films.
Copyright MARTHA ARGELIA. 2024.

Every year, countless novels are adapted for the big screen, transporting beloved characters and stories from the page to the silver screen. But with major studios vying for the biggest names and flashiest franchises, where does that leave the hidden gems of the literary world?

Indie books offer a unique voice, often pushing boundaries and exploring themes that mainstream publishers might shy away from. Once in a blue moon, these captivating stories find their way to independent filmmakers who capture the magic on camera.

I love Indie books because they offer an organic celebration of diverse voices. You rarely come across cookie-cutter characters. Also, independent publishing thrives on giving a platform to a wider range of voices. You'll find stories that explore unique cultural experiences, tackle social issues head-on, and feature characters from marginalized communities.

If you're tired of predictable plots (although, I admit there is a place for them!) and blockbuster explosions, and are craving something fresh, take a look at the three books below. They're all independent books that became fantastic films:

Moonlight (2016): Based on the play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" by Tarell Alvin McCraney, this coming-of-age story follows a young Black man named Chiron navigating his identity and sexuality in a tough Miami neighborhood. Moonlight isn't just a beautiful film; it's a powerful exploration of masculinity, race, and self-discovery. You can find a copy of the play, published by Dramatists Play Service, at A24, an independent film distribution company that specializes in arthouse drama and horror films.

Independent authors are also more likely to take risks. They experiment with form, explore unconventional narratives, and often deliver endings that will leave you speechless. Where mainstream books might play it safe, indie gems offer surprises and plotlines that stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Hereditary (2018): Written by Ari Aster, the novel gained a cult following online before being adapted into a chilling horror film. This unsettling story of a grieving family unraveling a dark legacy is not your typical haunted house fare. Hereditary will stay with you long after the credits roll, making you eager to revisit the disturbing brilliance of Aster's writing. You can pick it up at Last Word Books and at A24 Books.

When you choose an independent book, you're not just buying a story; you're supporting a vibrant literary community. Independent authors, publishers, and bookstores are the backbone of diverse storytelling, and your purchase helps them keep creating the kind of work that challenges the status quo.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019): Maria Semple's quirky mystery novel about a missing Seattle mom was originally self-published before finding a home with a traditional publisher. The book's success paved the way for a hilarious film starring Cate Blanchett. By picking up a copy from BrookShop.

If you end up reading or watching any of the films above let me know in the comments!

Happy reading/watching.