The Bodley Head has acquired two titles from German filmmaker and storyteller Werner Herzog, including a memoir.
Stuart Williams, publishing director, and Jörg Hensgen, editorial director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Friederike Barakat at German publisher Carl Hanser. Penguin Press will publish simultaneously in the US.
The first book in the deal, The Twilight World, will tell the story of the Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda. Following the end of the Second World War, Onoda continued to defend a small island in the Philippines, deep in the jungle, for 29 years. It will be translated by poet Michael Hofmann and published in summer 2022.
Herzog's memoir will follow in 2023, reflecting on the author's life and his decades in the film industry.
Hensgen said: "Building an opera house in the middle of the jungle; walking from Munich to Paris in the dead of winter; descending into an active volcano; living in the wilderness among grizzly bears—Werner Herzog has always been intrigued by extremes of human experience. His moving portrait of Onoda’s seemingly senseless struggle offers a profound meditation of the human condition.
"Filled to the brim with memorable stories and poignant observations, the memoir will throw fascinating light on the influences and ideas that drive Herzog’s creativity and have shaped his unique view of the world."
Herzog was born in Munich in 1942 and now lives in Los Angeles. His work includes films "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" and "Fitzcarraldo", and the documentaries "Grizzly Man" and "Cave of Forgotten Dreams". He is the author of several books, including Scenarios (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) and Conquest of the Useless (HarperCollins, 2010).