Ashley Audrain's forthcoming debut novel The Push to be adapted for screen

Production company Heyday Television has acquired the TV and film rights after a nine-way bidding deal.
The Push is a novel by Ashley Audrain. (Viking Canada, Barbara Stoneham)

Canadian author Ashley Audrain's forthcoming debut novel, The Push, has been optioned for TV and film.

Heyday Television, a production company run by Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film producer David Heyman, has acquired the rights after a nine-way bidding deal.

"I cannot recall the last time I read a novel as haunting as The Push. It is challenging, moving and thought provoking in all the best ways," said Heyman.

The Push, which is set to be published Jan. 5, 2021 by Penguin Random House, is a psychological drama about a woman named Blythe, who is experiencing motherhood for the first time, but it's not like she expected. When her first child, Violet, is born, she feels no connection to the baby — and Violet isn't anything like other babies. But Blythe's husband is convinced it's all in her head, and tells her everything will be fine if she just relaxes.

"The Push is a gripping and psychologically probing exploration of the bonds of family, the complexity and loneliness of motherhood and the devastating nature of grief," Penguin Canada's publisher Nicole Winstanley said in a press statement when the book was acquired.

Audrain's novel was snapped up in a series of record-breaking deals around the world. The book has now sold in 34 territories including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, earning Audrain more than $1 million.

Audrain, who will serve as an executive producer for the screen adaptation, began writing The Push after leaving her job as publicity director at Penguin Books Canada in 2015. 

"I am absolutely thrilled to put The Push into the hands of the team at Heyday, who have incredible passion for the novel and its potential to move a screen audience in a meaningful way," she said of the deal.

Audrain currently lives in Toronto, where she is raising her two young children.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?