Bloomsbury acquires "perfect" Lady Cyclist title

Bloomsbury has acquired world rights, following a "heated" five-way auction, to A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgari by debut novelist Suzanne Joinson.

Editorial director Helen Garnons-Williams bought the novel in a two-book deal through Rachel Calder of the Sayle Literary Agency.

The novel follows Evangeline English and her sister Lizzie as they travel to Kashgar on the Silk Road in 1923, to help set up a Christian mission, and also Frieda in present-day London who returns from a long trip abroad to find a man sleeping outside her front door.

Garnons-Williams said: "In Suzanne's Joinson's extraordinary novel, we have found the perfect book and the perfect author for Bloomsbury. This beautifully written and utterly captivating novel, with its characters who are all searching and fleeing and discovering and connected to each other in ways that they do not, at first understand—explores ideas of history and religion, inheritance and belonging with delicacy and empathy. We are thrilled to be publishing it."

Joinson works in the literature department of the British Council, and has an MA in creative writing from Goldsmiths University. She is writer-in-residence at Shoreham Airport.

Bloomsbury will publish in the UK, US, Germany and Australia in summer 2012.