The Shape of Water: The Novel | Oscars 2018

The coverage of the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 4, by the publishing industry e-newsletter Shelf Awareness noted that despite numerous nominations for book-related films, few of them walked away with the Oscar statuette. What the report failed to mention is that the Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water, is now also a novel. Cowritten by the film’s director Guillermo del Toro and YA author Daniel Kraus (The Death and Life of Zebullon Finch), the book is being released today, March 6, by Macmillan’s Feiwel and Friends children’s imprint (although it is technically considered an adult title).

But this is no ordinary movie novelization, as Germain Lussier’s io9  article, “The Shape of Water Novel Does Much, Much More Than Adapt the Movie,” reports: the book and the film tells the story of a mute woman who falls in love with an imprisoned sea monster in very different ways. The idea—a creature trapped in a lab and the janitor who tries to free it—came to Kraus when he was 15, and he tinkered with it over the years until a breakfast meeting with del Toro had the Mexican director optioning the idea for a film and reignited Kraus’s interest in writing a novel. As both projects developed, Kraus and del Toro would email and exchange phone calls, but at a certain point, Kraus wanted to finish his novel without knowing anything more about del Toro’s film. As Lussier notes, “the pair agreed each story would be its own thing.”


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Wilda Williams About Wilda Williams

Wilda "Willy" Williams ( is LJ's Fiction Editor. She specializes in popular fiction and edits the Mystery, Science Fiction, Christian Fiction, and Word on Street Lit columns.

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