Europa Editions is moving the publication date of Elena Ferrante's new novel, The Lying Life of Adults, from 9th June to 1st September 2020 owing to the impact of coronavirus on the trade.
More than 25 of the author's international publishers will be following suit to ensure a co-ordinated global release.
Despite the confidence of Europa's US chief that the new book would fare well commercially "whenever" it published, the publisher said it was "not willing" to exclude bricks and mortar bookshops, whose booksellers have championed Ferrante over the years, and it wanted the book to hit the market when it is "fully functioning".
"The Lying Life of Adults so propulsive, and Ferrante’s readership so vast, it would almost certainly be a commercial success whenever we published it," said Michael Reynolds, Europa US’ editor in chief. "But at this point it’s clear that publishing in June would mean cutting brick and mortar bookstores out of the equation, and that’s something we’re not willing to do. We want to publish The Lying Life of Adults when the market is fully functioning, so that the booksellers that have worked so effectively to build Ferrante’s readership and reputation over the years have a chance to sell this new book as only they know how."
Evi Ferri, publisher of Europa Editions UK, agreed September would now be "the most sensible choice ... when this sad madness will be behind all of us".
"This is a novel about growing up and I feel after this experience hopefully we will all have grown up a little. I look forward to celebrate that, and Elena’s book, together."
Release dates in the export market (handled with UK & Ireland by the Independent Alliance), for the e-book (Europa) and the audiobook (Penguin Random House Audio) will also be moved to coincide with the release of the hardback edition on 1st September.
Publisher María Fasce of Lumen, Spain, said the imprint looked forward to 1st of September as now "a magical date, an oasis, the date when –finally! – readers in Spanish and Catalan will ... discover Elena Ferrante’s new novel", while Yooyeon Noh, of Hanglisa Publishing in Korea, said the imprint was "very sad that we had to make the decision of postponing the publication of Elena Ferrante's new novel because many Korean readers are eager to read it" but this was "the wisest decision in these unprecedented difficult times".
Adriana Pitesa, Profil, Croatia, added: "We and all the other publishers have come to an agreement that instead of launching individually, we would stand in solidarity and have a simultaneous global launch of this new masterpiece. We believe this is what publishing should stand for."