EXCLUSIVE: HBO is in early development on Loner, a drama based on the novel by Teddy Wayne, with Wayne attached to pen the pilot and co-executive produce.

In Loner, David Federman has never felt appreciated. An academically gifted yet painfully forgettable member of his New Jersey high school class, the withdrawn, mild-mannered freshman arrives at Harvard fully expecting to be embraced by a new tribe of high-achieving peers. Initially, however, his social prospects seem unlikely to change, sentencing him to a lifetime of anonymity.

Then he meets Veronica Morgan Wells. Struck by her beauty, wit, and sophisticated Manhattan upbringing, David becomes instantly infatuated. Determined to win her attention and an invite into her glamorous world, he begins compromising his moral standards for this one, great shot at happiness. But both Veronica and David, it turns out, are not exactly as they seem.

Loner, published by Simon & Schuster, was named a best book of 2016 by NPR and Kirkus.

In addition to Loner, Teddy Wayne is the author of the novels Apartment (forthcoming in 2020), The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, and Kapitoil. He is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship as well as a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Wayne is also a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times.

The deal was made by ICM Partners on behalf of Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord Literistic.