Bonnier Zaffre has pre-empted a "powerful" novel set in Germany following WW2.
Bonnier Zaffre acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to The Women of the Castle by author Jessica Shattuck in a pre-emptive deal, to publish in spring 2017.
Kate Parkin, executive director of adult fiction, brokered the deal with Cathryn Summerhayes at WME, on behalf of Eric Simonoff. US rights have been sold to William Morrow, Brazilian rights to Casa dos livros, Danish rights to Lindhardt og Ringhof, Polish rights to Czarna, Italian rights to HarperCollins Italy, French rights to Lattes and Dutch rights to Nieuw Amsterdam.
Described by Parkin as "powerful, serious and timely", the novel is set in the aftermath of the war in a grand, crumbling castle that once played host to German high society. Exploring the collateral damage of war and its effect on civilians, particularly women and children, Shattuck, whose own grandparents were German, tells the story of three very different women, widows of German resistors murdered in the wake of the failed July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.
Parkin said: "With its echoes of Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader, The Women of the Castle tells a story of the war and its consequences from a German point of view that is not often heard. Moving, shocking and ultimately redemptive, this is a novel that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page."
Shattuck lives in Brookline, MA, in the US. Her book The Hazards of Good Breeding (W. W. Norton & Company) was a finalist for the 2003 PEN/ Winship Award and a New York Times Notable Book.
She commented: "I am thrilled to be working with Kate and the rest of the experienced team at Bonnier Zaffre to bring this book to British readers."