Ebury has pre-empted comedy romance Gone Viking, a debut novel about going back to basics and living the Viking way, by journalist Helen Russell.
Ebury commissioning editor Emily Yau has bought UK and Commonwealth rights in a pre-empt from Anna Power at Johnson & Alcock, to publish in b-format paperback original in January 2018.
Pitched as a Scandi Eat Pray Love and "a work of women’s fiction with a difference", the novel is described as both a light, "hugely funny" book and "very feminist" in its themes. Characters in the book not only highlight the benefits of going off the grid and in exploring Scandi culture but also sisterhood, empowerment and learning to be both physically and emotionally strong.
Known for her non-fiction, the book follows Russell's previous books The Year of Living Danishly (Icon Books) and Leap Year (Two Roads).
Yau said: “At Ebury we have a great track record for helping non-fiction writers transition to fiction and I’m delighted to welcome Helen to the list. As soon as I read Helen’s non-fiction I knew she would make the perfect novelist. Gone Viking is sure to delight and inspire, as well as persuade us of the benefits of going off grid every once in a while.”
Power said: “Helen’s non-fiction has won her legions of fans, all delighted by her warmth and wit, and her sharp observations of the way we live. She brings all those qualities and more to her very funny debut novel, Gone Viking. This novel is also at the forefront of an emerging trend in commercial fiction dealing with characters who are struggling, mentally as well as physically, with unrealistic ambitions to have it all.”
Russell added: “It's very exciting to be immersed in the world of modern day Vikings for my first novel and I'm thrilled to be published by Ebury. I'm really looking forward to working with Emily and the team - and to be sharing the world of Gone Viking with readers next year.”