Canongate signs 'incendiary' Yuknavitch novel

Canongate signs 'incendiary' Yuknavitch novel

Canongate is to publish a "brilliant and incendiary" novel by Lidia Yuknavitch, a US writer previously unpublished in the UK, titled The Book of Joan.

Francis Bickmore, publishing director at Canongate Books, acquired UK, Commonwealth and translation rights in two novels by Yuknavitch in a pre-empt. The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children were acquired from Rachel Clements at Abner Stein on behalf of Rayhané Sanders and Maria Massie at MMQ.

The Book of Joan will be published in the UK in early 2018; Jeff VanderMeer described the book in last weekend’s New York Times Book Review as "brilliant and incendiary" and compared it to theworks of Doris Lessing, Frank Herbert, Ursula Le Guin and J G Ballard.

Film rights in The Book of Joan have been optioned by Scott Steindorff and Dylan Russell of Stone Village Productions.

Bickmore said: "The Book of Joan is a genre-defying masterpiece that will rewire your brain. Like the best futurism of Huxley, Le Guin, Ballard or Atwood, Lidia Yuknavitch projects our deepest dilemmas and desires onto a near future world, and does so in wildly brilliant prose. Part Joan of Arc, part 'Mad Max', the battle for our future identities starts with Lidia Yuknavitch. We are thrilled and honoured she has joined Canongate in a two-book deal and we look forward to finding equally passionate publishing partners for her worldwide."

Yuknavitch said: "Nothing could be more thrilling to me just now than to sign on with Canongate, where books still rise in the face of despair. I am over the moon and across water. I have waited to become part of a global literary community my entire life. Now more than ever we must write our way to one another - bridge the terrible gaps - this invitation is simply breathtaking."

Yuknavitch is also the author of a novel Dora: A Headcase, published in the US by Hawthorne Press, and three books of short fiction. Her memoir, The Chronology of Water, was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice.