Sceptre has acquired literary debut Harmless Like You - "a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation" - following a "fierce" six-way auction.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (pictured) has written the "unforgettable novel" which follows the stories of a Japanese teen who moves to America in the 1960s, and her son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, decides to find the mother who abandoned him when he was two-years-old. It is set in New York, Berlin and Connecticut.
Francine Toon, editor at Sceptre, acquired world English language rights to Harmless Like You and a second novel from Lucy Luck at Aitken Alexander at auction. Dutch rights have been pre-empted by Ambo Anthos.
Toon said: "I knew I was in the hands of an exceptionally talented, exciting new writer from the opening paragraphs of Harmless Like You. Each sentence is constructed with a spectacularly precise beauty, capturing New York at an iconic moment in time, and the fragile personal histories of an estranged mother and son. I am truly delighted to be publishing Harmless Like You, in the year of Sceptre’s 30th anniversary."
Harmless Like You is the writer's debut novel. Buchanan said: "I'm thrilled that my novel has found a home at Sceptre, and I'm so looking forward to working with the team."