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Hutchinson builds fiction list with new buys
01.01.70 | Graeme Neill
Random House Cornerstone imprint Hutchinson is lining up books for its 2012/13 fiction lists, with publishing director Jocasta Hamilton scooping up two novels—including a British début—and editorial director Stephanie Sweeney also adding to the list.
Hamilton, who made her first acquisition for the imprint at Frankfurt, pre-empting The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis for a good five-figure sum, has now bought another book which was hotly-tipped ahead of the fair. She snapped up UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to The First Book of Calamity Leek by Paula Lichatarowicz [pictured] in a three-way auction from Clare Alexander with Cassie Metcalf-Slovo at Aitken Alexander.
Hutchinson will publish the book in spring 2013. Hamilton described it as “a spectacularly inventive novel about power and mythology which builds to a thrilling climax”. The book is narrated by the Stockholm Syndrome-suffering Calamity Leek, and is about a group of young girls brainwashed to believe that they are being trained to defeat the “demonmales” who live beyond their walled garden.
In the Kingdom of Me by Kim Barnes was also acquired by Hamilton, who picked up UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Judith Murray at Greene & Heaton on behalf of Sally Wofford-Girand at Brick House. Hutchinson plans to publish in July 2012. Hamilton described the book as being a cross between “Mad Men” and Revolutionary Road, but set in 1960s Saudi Arabia. She said: “It is a brilliant portrait of a marriage breaking down and a fascinating look at clashing cultures and corruption . . . It was a novel I instantly wanted to press into the hands of my girlfriends.”
Meanwhile, Sweeney has bought Heft by Liz Moore, acquiring UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) through Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein. Set in New York, the book follows lonely hero Arthur Opp as he receives a letter that forces him to face the world again. Hutchinson plans to publish in May 2012, and Sweeney said: “Heft is peopled with incredibly real, memorable characters, and I read the whole novel with a lump in my throat.”