Andersen Press will reissue Melvin Burgess' 1996 title Junk in July 2021 as a celebration of the title's 25th anniversary. The reissue will be published alongside his new YA novel Three Bullets.
Three Bullets will imagine a UK in the grip of civil war following the rise to power of a far-right government that is hellbent on eradicating everything and everyone they despise. The synopsis reads: "When her home is destroyed in a bombing raid, our heroine Marti must strike out on a mission of her own: to save her father and get his vital software into the right hands. But Marti is mixed race and trans, and has her three-year-old brother in tow. Crossing into enemy territory could prove suicidal. Yet Marti's enemies haven't reckoned with her indomitable will to survive; and the gun she carries, which has three bullets."
Charlie Sheppard, publishing director, acquired world rights for Three Bullets from Caradoc King at United Agents. Publication for both titles will be supported with a "major" media campaign.
Sheppard said: "Melvin Burgess is the godfather of YA, and a searing, vital voice in the YA market . He earned his place in the hall of fame 25 years ago with Junk, and through awards, controversies and many, many bans over the years, that book still hits contemporary audiences with its freshness, immediacy and relevance. Now with Three Bullets, that legacy continues . It’s by no means an easy read, but one which we believe opens discussion about prejudice in our own society, and shines a light on the atrocities still going on around the world today."
Burgess' Junk, the doomed love story of Gemma, Tar and heroin on the streets of Bristol, won the Carnegie Medal, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and YA Book Prize Special Achievement Award. The reissue will feature a new anniversary cover (pictured).
Burgess commented: "When Junk came out 25 years ago, no one had the slightest idea how it would be received. Most thought it would bomb, some thought it would be banned. Very few thought it would fly. In the event, its reception took us all by surprise. With Three Bullets I feel much the same way. It’s the excitement of writing about contemporary issues, you just cannot tell how people will react. Inevitably some will hate it, some will love it. What can I say? It’s been an adventure writing it, but how it's judged is beyond my control. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing."