Stacey Abrams’ New Novel While Justice Sleeps to Be Adapted for Television

:Stacey Abrams attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
:Stacey Abrams attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo: Paras Griffin for Tyler Perry Studios (Getty Images)

A brand new book from Stacey Thee Abrams will be headed to a small screen near us soon, The Root has learned.


While Justice Sleeps, Abrams’ ninth novel and the first published using her real name instead of the pen name Selena Montgomery, was just released on Tuesday. But the novel is already set to be adapted for television series by Working Title Television, part of NBCUniversal International Studios. Abrams will executive produce alongside Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

After weathering the competitive storm to secure Stacey’s novel, we are elated to have come out on top,” Bevan said in a statement to Variety. “This is one of those rare moments when the opportunity feels right, and we look forward to developing this thrilling project with the multi-hyphenate Abrams.”

The novel’s official synopsis per Penguin Random House:

Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together—excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn—the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases—has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court—a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.

As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chesslike sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth

On Sunday’s episode of CBS This Morning, Abrams touched on recent voter suppression laws, how she manages to write in the midst of a busy schedule and exactly why she’d been using her pen name for all her previous novels. Hilariously explaining to Gayle King (who consequently found herself unfairly at the center of online discourse for asking about Stacey’s dating life), Abrams said:

“The only reason my name wasn’t on Selena Montgomery’s novels is I was writing tax articles and social policy treatises at the same time I began publishing in fiction and it was much easier to keep them separate. It was less about hiding that I wrote romance and being more concerned about romance readers not wanting to read romance by a tax wonk.”


To hear more about While Justice Sleeps, be sure to tune in to this week’s It’s Lit! podcast with host Maiysha Kai and special guest Stacey Abrams.