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Hodder pre-empts 'exceptional' debut
01.01.70 | Katie Allen
Hodder & Stoughton has pre-empted world rights in debut novel The Universe Versus Alex Woods, with deals already signed in five other territories.
Editorial director Kate Howard acquired the novel in a two-book deal with Mark Stanton at Jenny Brown Associates. Written by British author Gavin Extence, the book will be published in hardback in January 2013, with mmpb to follow in May 2013.
The novel tells the story of 17-year-old Alex Woods, born to a clairvoyant mother and a phantom father, who is stopped at Dover customs in possession of 113 grams of marijuana and the ashes of his best friend, Vietnam veteran Isaac Peterson.
Howard described it as "a novel about an unlikely hero doing an unlikely heroic act. It's a sad book, but it's also really funny and smart and unusual—and as entertaining as it is profound." She said it would particularly appeal to fans of Mark Haddon, John Irving and Rachel Joyce, adding: "The Universe Versus Alex Woods is an exceptional book with massive potential, and we'll be giving it a serious push on publication".
Meanwhile, Hodder head of foreign rights, Alice Howe, has negotiated deals in five other territories, with Dutch rights pre-empted by Prometheus in a two-book deal, and Garzanti winning an auction for Italian rights with a two-book best bid. In Germany, LIMES/Blanvalet signed rights in the two books following a six-way auction, for a six-figure sum. Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir bought Hebrew rights, and Seix Barral has acquired Spanish rights.