Issa Rae adapting Tayari Jones’ ‘Silver Sparrow’ for the big screen

Issa Rae attends the 23rd Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 13 in New York.
(Christopher Smith/Invision/Associated Press)

“Insecure” creator Issa Rae is producing a film adaptation of “Silver Sparrow,” the 2011 novel by acclaimed author Tayari Jones.

Jones, whose latest novel, “An American Marriage,” was shortlisted for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, confirmed the news to Oprah Magazine.

“Issa Rae is an artist who has a real understanding and commitment to presenting the lives of young women with complexity, humor, and heart,” Tayari said. “I wrote ‘Silver Sparrow’ as a tribute to my sisters. With Issa, this labor of love is in safe hands.”


“Silver Sparrow” follows a man in 1980s Atlanta named James Witherspoon who’s been living a double life as a bigamist. His two teenage daughters meet and become friends, but only one of them knows that the other is her sister.

Susan Straight called the novel “astonishing” in a review for The Times.

“It’s Jones’ talent for these two voices, so vulnerable and deep-hearted, and for plot ... that makes her novel impossible to put down until you find out how these sisters will discover their own versions of family,” Straight wrote.

Jones told the Root that she “could not be more thrilled” that Rae is adapting her novel.

“There is no one better equipped to tell the stories of young black women than Issa Rae,” she said. “She knows all our complexities. She sees our pain and our promise.”

“Silver Sparrow” isn’t the only novel by Jones to be headed to the big screen. In July, Winfrey announced plans to adapt “An American Marriage” into a movie.

“For her to call me on the phone — she just called me on the phone to tell me that I’d been chosen for her book club — it rejuvenated the writer that I was when I was just starting out,” Jones told The Times in March 2018. “Getting Oprah’s endorsement felt like the most miraculous gift. And especially after her awesome Golden Globe speech, I feel so proud to be associated with her and her work.”