Jonathan Cape has acquired at auction a “biography of the 1919 Spanish ‘flu pandemic’”.
Alex Bowler, editorial director at Jonathan Cape, bought world rights after a three-way auction to Laura Spinney’s book from David Miller at Rogers, Coleridge & White.
Bowler said: “Laura’s aim is a formidable one – to write about a global tragedy which wiped out nearly 100m people, but in a new way: seeking out the human stories, the smaller, intimate daily tragedies, in order to bring death on such a scale to life.
“And it’s a book which will challenge our interpretation of the period, inviting us to see 1914-1918 from a global scale, not just through the prism of Western Europe and a single war. A shadow history – the real, global story – of this period.”
The book is provisionally titled Pale Rider.