Doubleday will release Michel Faber's Charles Dickens-Inspired tale D (A Tale of Two Worlds) this September, the first title The Crimson and the White author has not published with Canongate.
Editorial director Jane Lawson first acquired world English language rights including audio from Claire Conrad at Janklow & Nesbit in 2018, with the deal originally reported to be an illustrated young adult novel. The book is now being published as a "Dickensian fable" for adult consumers with no illustrations.
Commissioned by Doubleday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ death, D will be "published in a beautifully designed hardback gifting format for the Christmas market", said the publisher.
The novel follows young heroine, Dhikilo, who notices that the letter "D" has suddenly disappeared from the language. Encouraged by her old history teacher Professor Dodderfield and his faithful Labrador, Nelly Robinson, she sets off on a quest to reclaim the missing letter, venturing into "the wintry land of Liminus, a fantasy world enslaved by the monstrous Gamp—and populated by fearsome, enchanting creatures".
Lawson said: “It is a huge honour to publish Michel Faber, and especially exciting that he has responded with such typical brilliance and sensitivity to this commission. D is a warm-hearted tale, joyous, funny, surprising, and highly engaged politically. It will delight his existing readers, and will find him a whole new generation of fans.’
Faber added: "D was a joy to write. Dhikilo was such delightful company that she steered me away from the dark tragedy that my work has so often explored."
The Dutch-born, UK-resident has previously released nine books with Canongate which have shifted £3.2m through Nielsen BookScan UK.