Canongate has acquired "national treasure" Margaret Drabble's backlist and will start publishing selected editions of her novels next year.
Simon Thorogood, editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to 17 novels from James Gill at United Agents.
The first six will be published in Canongate’s Canons imprint in paperback and e-book in June 2022. The titles, originally published by Penguin, include Jerusalem the Golden, The Millstone, The Needle’s Eye, The Peppered Moth, The Radiant Way and A Summer Birdcage. Canongate has previously published novels by the author, including The Pure Gold Baby in 2014 and The Dark Flood Rises in 2016.
Thorogood said of the acquisition: "In her fiction, Drabble is one of our foremost chroniclers of social change and of women’s lives, with characters from youth to old age. She’s a national treasure, or should be. It’s a pleasure to bring all of her novels together at Canongate."
In addition to her novels, Drabble has also written biographies, screenplays and was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. Described as "one of the most accomplished and versatile authors of her generation" by the publisher, she was appointed CBE in 1980 and made a Dame in the 2008 Honours list for her contribution to English literature. A former president of the Society of Authors, Drabble was awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a lifetime's distinguished service to literature.
Commenting on the deal with Canongate, Drabble said: "I am delighted to have my backlist with Canongate and to join the distinguished Canons imprint. I am sure my novels will be in very good hands."