Head of Zeus has won four-way auction for Kwon Yeo-Sun’s English debut Lemon, translated by Janet Hong.
Editorial director Madeleine O’Shea acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Charlotte Seymour at Andrew Nurnberg Associates on behalf of Other Press, who pre-empted world English rights from Barbara J Zitwer. Further deals have also been secured in Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.
Lemon is a literary crime novel that explores themes of class and privilege through the plot of an unsolved murder case. The story is told by three voices of those who knew murder victim Hae.
Kwon Yeo-Sun has won many awards including the Sangsang Literary Award and Oh Yeongsu Literature Award. Lemon is her first novel to be published in English.
O'Shea said: "Head of Zeus are committed to bringing readers the very best of international genre fiction in translation and so I am truly thrilled to be publishing Lemon here in the UK. This novel is original, enlivening and direct. I love books that use genre to open up questions for the reader, and in Lemon I found the exploration of grief, class, gender and identity just as gripping as the crime mystery – if not more."
Seymour added: "I sell quite a number of titles from around the world to be translated into English and it is not every day that one sees four UK publishers bidding for a novel in translation. Head of Zeus blew us away with their vision and enthusiasm for publishing Lemon – readers are in for a treat…"
Head of Zeus will publish Lemon in autumn 2021.
Photography: Shin Nara