Andersen Press has acquired a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up above a Chinese takeaway in the West Midlands in the 1980s by Sue Cheung.
Cheung, who has previously published picture books as Sue Pickford, based Chinglish on her own adolescence. It tells the story of Jo Kwan, who dreams of breaking free of her life and becoming an artist, and is described as “East is East meets Georgia Nicolson in a Chinese takeaway” by Andersen.
Cheung wrote and illustrated the novel, which is told in diary entries and doodles.
Commissioning editor Chloe Sackur said: “We are so proud to be publishing Chinglish – a brilliantly unique illustrated diary from the perspective of a teenage, first-generation, British Chinese girl. Sue captures the bonkers and hilarious highs of her own adolescence along with the difficulties and fears that she survived. It’s truly a book that will make you laugh through your tears, and a story that many will connect with – whether it’s the awkward first day at a new school, cringeworthy siblings, or the painful experiences that come with being seen as different in UK society.”
Andersen bought world rights from literary agent James Catchpole and will publish in September.