Adapting “Wild” and “Brooklyn” helped Nick Hornby rediscover himself as a writer


Even Academy Award-nominated writer and novelist Nick Hornby gets frustrated with his own writing weaknesses, he admitted on “Salon Talks.” As Hornby’s career has evolved, and he’s moved into adapting other people’s work into screenplays, it’s allowed him to free himself of being stuck inside his own head.

Hornby explained how he went from writing novels like “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy” to adapting books into films like “Brooklyn” and “Wild.” He told SalonTV’s Alli Joseph about his writing process.

“Every time I start something, a novel, or an original, you always think this one's gonna be different, I'm not gonna be me,” he said. “There's a clunk, and you hit the inside of your own head again. And you think, ah man, it's me again. And there's nothing I can do about it, I'm just me.”

But, Hornby pointed out, when he was offered an adaptation of someone else’s novel, it was a fresh idea. “I thought, this is someone else's head, this is fantastic, it's like opening one door out of my head, and into theirs.” He added, “because I couldn't have lived those lives, or, I don't know those people, but, the author enabled me to have access to them”

Hornby’s latest writing endeavor is short-form television. He’s the writer for the newest SundanceTV series, “State of the Union,” which features 10-minute episodes following a married couple, (played by Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd), as they struggle through marriage counseling. “State of the Union” is available on Sundance Now and SundanceTV.

Watch the video above to hear why Hornby enjoyed adapting “Wild” and “Brooklyn” for the big screen. And watch the full episode to learn more about Hornby’s writing and why jigsaw puzzles and vaping are crucial to his process.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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