Rediscover: White Noise

White Noise, an adaptation of Don DeLillo's 1985 novel written and directed by Noah Baumbach, will open the 79th Venice Film Festival on August 31 before appearing on Netflix later in 2022. It stars Adam Driver as Jack Gladney, professor of Hitler studies at a midwestern college called The-College-on-the-Hill. He and his fourth wife, Babette (played by Greta Gerwig) care for four children and step-children and are both terrified of death. When a train full of chemicals derails, Gladney's town is subsumed by the Airborne Toxic Event, a catalyst for thematic explorations of death, consumer culture, academia and religion. The film also stars Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy, Sam Nivola, May Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, André L. Benjamin and Lars Edinger.

DeLillo's postmodern breakout book, his eighth novel, won the National Book Award for Fiction and was included in Time's list of Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. DeLillo has also received the Norman Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, among numerous other accolades. His other novels include Libra (1988), Mao II (1991), Underworld (1997), Falling Man (2007) and Zero K (2016). His most recent book, The Silence, came out in 2020. In 2016, Penguin Classics released White Noise as part of its Penguin Orange Collection ($18). --Tobias Mutter

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