The Borough Press has pre-empted “multigenerational epic” One Blood from author—and Simon & Schuster US editor—Denene Millner in a six-figure deal.
Publishing director Suzie Dooré acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from agent Victoria Sanders of Victoria Sanders and Associates, based on a partial manuscript of just 44 pages and a synopsis.
Set in the Deep South during the Great Migration, New York during the Civil Rights movement, and present-day Atlanta, One Blood is “a multigenerational epic exploring the link between three Black women: a birth mother who has her child taken away, the adoptive mother who raises that child and the woman the child becomes”.
Millner is the author of more than 25 adult and children’s titles.
She said: “One Blood is a story directly from my heart—a deeply personal piece that gets down to the marrow of what it means to 'be'. What makes 'you' you. I'm so grateful that The Borough Press saw the beauty of this exploration and is helping me birth this story.”
The novel will be published in early 2022, and St Martin’s Press, which also pre-empted for six figures, will publish in the US. To date the book has also sold in France to Cherche Midi, Germany to Goldmann Verlag, Hungary to Libri Kiado, Italy to Harper Italia and Spain to Planeta.
Dooré said: “One Blood is going to be a hugely important book – that was clear from the first page. Epic in scope, beautifully written and, frankly, urgently needed, it’s at once an intimate story of three women and an examination of Black American womanhood, motherhood and adoption. Denene is an extraordinary talent and a truly inspirational woman—she had most of the team in tears when we all met on Zoom!—and One Blood will be an instant classic.”
Sanders added: “This incredible journey has been profoundly gratifying for me, both personally and professionally. Denene Millner's extraordinary, exquisitely haunting, profoundly epic One Blood in the masterful hands of the unparalleled and visionary team at The Borough Press and Harper UK. This is truly a dream team.”