Bloomsbury pre-empts Binder's family-inspired Second World War novel

Bloomsbury pre-empts Binder's family-inspired Second World War novel

Bloomsbury UK and US have both pre-empted on the first novel by award-winning short fiction writer L Annette Binder, inspired by her own family’s experience under the Third Reich.

Bloomsbury publisher Alexis Kirschbaum at Bloomsbury UK and Liese Mayer, editorial director for fiction at Bloomsbury US, pre-empted North American and UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada to Mutti by Binder, winner of the 2011 Mary McCarthy Prize. Binder is represented by Claudia Ballard at WME.

Mutti is is slated for spring 2020 and described by the publisher as “the harrowing and intimately observed story of one German family as it navigates the insidious and shrouded realities of life under the Reich, based partly on the author’s own family history”.

Binder’s collection of short stories, Rise, was published in 2012 in the US by Sarabande Books. 

“Binder has written a rare and beautiful novel about an aspect of the Second World War we don’t usually hear about; a German family,” Kirschbaum said. “One son has come home from battle, the other is trying to find his way, while the mother attempts to come to terms with what the war has taken from them. This is fiction as rich and melancholic as life itself. Its subtlety and imagination moved me more than anything I’ve read in a very long time.”

Mayer described how Binder “has written a harrowing, deeply original novel of the Second World War that could not speak more urgently to our current moment”.

“By keeping her precise, unflinching gaze on the intimate, daily experience of Germans who lived far from the corridors of power, L Annette Binder offers a wrenching depiction of the blinkered, incomplete awareness of one family caught up in the brutality of a tyranny they can’t fully fathom,” Mayer said.

Binder added: “The book is inspired by events from my family’s history, and I worked on it for years in solitude. It’s beyond thrilling to contemplate that the story will be out in the world.”