Fourth Estate has signed The Pages, a “stunning” novel from Hugo Hamilton drawing on Joseph Roth's book Rebellion which "expands the possibilities of storytelling".
Editorial director Nicholas Pearson acquired British Commonwealth rights, including e-book, audio and serial, from Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge & White. Publication is scheduled for July 2021. It will be published by Alfred A Knopf in the US while film rights have been bought by Neil Jordan, the man behind “The End of the Affair”, “The Crying Game” and “Interview with a Vampire”.
The publisher explained: “Narrated in the voice of Joseph Roth's masterpiece Rebellion, Hugo Hamilton's stunning, formally inventive new novel tells the life story of that book, initially rescued from the Nazi book-burning in Berlin in May 1933. It recounts the life of its Austrian-Jewish author, a writer on the run, and his intriguing wife Friederike who fell victim to mental illness. And it tells a multitude of other stories: of Adreas Pum, a barrel-organ player down on his luck; and of a young German American woman who finds a small map drawn by hand on its own blank page in the back, a thrilling mystery which will lead her to Berlin, the book's birthplace. The Pages carries profound echoes from the past into the present day and is an inspiring story of the survival of literature over 100 years.”
Hamilton is the author of two memoirs, a collection of short stories and six novels, including 2019's Dublin Palms (Fourth Estate). His memoir The Speckled People (Fourth Estate) has been translated into 15 languages, winning both the Prix Femina Etranger in France and Italy's Berto Prize.
Early praise for his new book has come from Tessa Hadley, Colum McCann, Roddy Doyle, John Banville and Sebastian Barr, who branded the novel “a masterpiece”.
Pearson said: “The Pages is a revelation, Hugo Hamilton's finest novel, one that completely upends what we might expect when we open a book. With its unusual narrator, laced as the novel is with Joseph Roth's masterpiece Rebellion, it expands the possibilities of storytelling and its ability to form connections across time and geography. It is profound but it is also very playful, immersive and full of suspense to the last page.”