A bisexual, biracial Yale grad goes to Africa and falls in love with a Kenyan Muslim. That’s the premise of “Ade: A Love Story,” the novel by Rebecca Walker that Madonna plans to make into a film.
Deadline reports that Madonna plans to direct and has lined up Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen; a screenwriter has not yet been attached.
“Ade” is Walker’s first novel. The daughter of Alice Walker is the author of the acclaimed memoirs “Black White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self” and “Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence.”
Madonna directed “W.E.” in 2011, a story of the love affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson nested within a contemporary story. She made her debut behind the camera with “Filth and Wisdom” in 2008.
But it’s the 2002 film “Swept Away” that seems closest to “Ade.” Madonna starred in “Swept Away” (directed by her then-husband, Guy Ritchie), a story about an unlikely couple on a desert island who wind up having a passionate love affair.
With “Ade,” the Material Girl has found a way to shoot another film on a beautiful island.
In our pages, Margaret Wappler gave the novel a mixed review. “Between lovely descriptions of the island’s sun-dazed beauty and Farida’s all-consuming infatuation, Walker salts in acute realizations of how place and romantic attachment can instill a sense of belonging while simultaneously complicating notions of identity,” she writes. “But too many opportunities -- Farida mentions ‘the way I veiled and covered for you’ -- aren’t properly explored here. By the end, when Farida is battling malaria, meningitis and the corrupt Kenyan government, all thwarting her plan to marry Ade, the novella reads as abbreviation, skimming over Farida’s resignation and disappointment.”
“Ade” was published by Little A, Amazon Publishing’s literary fiction imprint.