Farshore pre-empts feminist reimagining of Odyssey by debut author Underwood

Farshore pre-empts feminist reimagining of Odyssey by debut author Underwood

Farshore has pre-empted a feminist reimagining of The Odyssey from debut author Sarah Underwood.

Sarah Levison, senior commissioning editor, and Lindsey Heaven, fiction publishing director, together with Stephanie Stein, senior editor at sister company HarperCollins Children’s Books US, made a "lightning" pre-empt for world English-language rights for two books from Catherine Cho of Paper Literary. The first book, Lies We Sing to the Sea, will be published on Farshore’s YA imprint Electric Monkey in spring 2023. 

Lies We Sing to the Sea is described by the publisher as a "stunning Sapphic reimagining" of The Odyssey that "vividly transports the reader through the years to the sun-and-blood-soaked island of Ithaca as failed oracle Leto attempts to break the island’s curse".

Underwood said: “I am unbelievably thrilled to be working with Sarah, Lindsey, Stephanie and everyone at Farshore and HarperTeen. Their enthusiasm for Lies We Sing to the Sea blows me away, and to be published alongside so many fantastic authors is such a childhood dream come true. I’ve always loved that Greek mythology is so deeply rooted in oral storytelling. Myths are made to be pulled apart and put back together, and I wanted to continue this tradition by giving voice to Melantho—one of the Odyssey’s 12 slaughtered maids—and sharing the story I always felt she deserved. I’m so grateful to HarperCollins—and, of course, my brilliant agent Catherine Cho at Paper Literary—for giving me the opportunity to do so.”

Levison added: “The Fates were truly on our side the day that Lies We Sing to the Sea sailed into our inboxes. This stunning novel, inspired by The Odyssey, has it all—fantasy, passion, mystery, romance and drama—and is astonishingly accomplished for a young debut writer. Sarah Underwood has an incredible author career ahead of her as one of the biggest names in YA and crossover publishing, and we’re delighted that Electric Monkey can once again be part of this very special story.”

Stein commented: “Sarah’s sapphic, feminist riff on Greek mythology is a YA debut for the ages. She has taken a single forgotten thread from The Odyssey and spun it into a spectacular tapestry of myth, magic, romance and destiny. It absolutely swept me away in its current, and I defy anyone to read it without falling in love (or shedding a tear). I could not be more thrilled to be launching Sarah’s YA career at HarperTeen.”

Underwood recently graduated in computational bioengineering from Imperial College London and will be starting her Masters at the University of Cambridge this autumn.