Granta Books has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Earthlings, a new novel by Sayaka Murata, author of Convenience Store Woman. Senior commissioning editor Anne Meadows concluded the deal with Amy Hundley at Grove Atlantic, on behalf of Kohei Hattori at the English Agency Japan.
Set in contemporary Japan, Earthlings is the story of two children who believe they have come from outer space. Granta says: "Forcibly separated by their families, cruelly treated by the very people who should care for them, they must struggle against society to find each other again. Their reunion, when it comes, will have spectacular and violent consequences."
Meadows said: “It has been such a joy seeing readers fall in love with Convenience Store Woman, and I am so happy that we’ll publish a new Murata novel next year. Earthlings is a wild and powerful story of unconventional love, of the strictures placed particularly on young women and the strange paths you might take to find freedom.”
Convenience Store Woman - the story of an oddball shop assistant trying to make an appearance of fitting in - has acquired cult status since it was published in 2016. It has sold more 1.5m copies in Japan alone and been translated into more than 30 languages. In the UK, it has sold 22,672 copies since July through Nielsen BookScan's TCM, and is a regular in the Small Publishers Fiction top 20.
Granta Books will publish Earthlings in summer 2020. The translator will be Ginny Tapley Takemori, who also translated Convenience Store Woman.