Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs’ Upcoming First Novel, ‘This Bird Has Flown,’ Coming to Screen

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Susanna Hoffs in The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” video

The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs has written many classic pop songs, including the 1989 #1 single, “Eternal Flame,” which she co-wrote. Now, she’s about to fulfill what she calls “a lifelong dream,” with the upcoming publication of her first novel. The book, This Bird Has Flown, landed April 4, 2023, via Little Brown and Company. Hoffs also released a new studio album on April 7, The Deep End, produced by Peter Asher, featuring some of her favorite songs. These include her covers of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” Squeeze’s “Black Coffee in Bed” and Yazoo’s “Only You.”

From the book publisher’s announcement: Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song—written by world-famous superstar Jonesy—but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since. Now she’s living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom.

But when her longtime manager Pippa sends Jane to London to regroup, she’s seated next to an intriguing stranger on the flight—the other Tom Hardy, an elegantly handsome Oxford professor of literature. Jane is instantly smitten by Tom, and soon, truly inspired. But it’s not Jane’s past alone that haunts her second chance at stardom, and at love. Is Tom all that he seems? And can Jane emerge from the shadow of Jonesy’s earlier hit, and into the light of her own?

In turns deeply sexy, riotously funny, and utterly joyful, This Bird Has Flown explores love, passion, and the ghosts of our past, and offers a glimpse inside the music business.

In Nov. 2022, Universal Pictures had purchased the film rights to the still-unpublished title. Hoffs will write the screenplay herself.

“As a lifelong fiction, film, and music junkie, writing the novel was the realization of a dream,” said Hoffs. “As I was writing This Bird Has Flown, songs provided the score; I visualized the action and unfolding dialogue as if I were watching a movie spring to life in my head. Getting to adapt the book for the screen is the cherry on top of this joyous experience.”

Hoffs turned 64 on Jan. 17.

Of her decision to write the book, Hoffs told, “I’ve… always loved disappearing into other people’s stories, whether in a novel, a film, a play, a painting, a song. I dreamed one day of writing a novel of my own. And then it hit me, If not now when? and I took the plunge!

“To my delight, I found an unexpected sense of freedom sitting alone in my room, writing for hours at a time.”

Boasting one of pop’s most beloved voices, Hoffs graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Art. In 1981 she co-founded The Bangles, with whom she recorded and released a string of chart-topping singles including “Manic Monday” (written by Prince), “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “Hazy Shade of Winter,” and “Eternal Flame” (co-written by Hoffs), before embarking on a solo career. She also wrote, recorded music for, and appeared in the Austin Powers movies, and played herself on Season 1 of The Gilmore Girls. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Jay Roach.

Follow Hoffs’ entertaining musings on her Twitter feed.

Related: The Bangles performed several favorites at a 2018 concert

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