Headline Review has triumphed in a multi-publisher auction for Isaac and the Egg, a debut novel by journalist Bobby Palmer.
Commissioning editor Frankie Edwards acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Millie Hoskins at United Agents. Headline Review will publish the title as a major launch in 2022.
German rights for the title were won by Blessing (PRH) in a "hotly contested" three-way auction and there is strong interest in multiple other territories, says Headline. Translation rights are being handled by United Agents.
Isaac and the Egg is described as an "emotive, powerful and wholly original novel about one man’s grief and the unlikely friend he finds to pull him through". Readers will meet Isaac Addy just after the unexpected death of his wife, standing on a bridge and screaming all his pain into the void. But then, someone screams back – a cry of despair perhaps even greater than his own. He follows it into the woods, and what he finds there will change everything. Together, Isaac and the Egg begin to navigate the chaos that grief throws us into.
Edwards said: "Everyone at Headline has fallen head over heels for Isaac and the Egg. I knew within seconds that I wanted to publish it. Bobby’s debut novel is truly special, an exquisite combination of humour, charm, darkness, hope and sheer humanity. With writing that devastates and heals in the same lines, this book is going to steal the hearts of readers everywhere. You don’t encounter the Egg without him changing you."
Palmer commented: "I’ve been absolutely bowled over by Headline’s passion for this book, and in Frankie I’ve found an editor who really understands the story to its core – I know the Egg is in safe hands with her and the Headline team. Creating these characters has been a real joy during a year where joy has been in short supply, and I like to think that it’s as much a story about hope and happiness as it is a story about loneliness and loss. I can’t wait for people to read it, and I hope they’ll find some joy of their own in this tale of two unexpected friends who lift each other up at exactly the right time."
Palmer writes for publications including Time Out, GQ, Men’s Health and Cosmopolitan.
- McNicholas turns Edinburgh stage show into book for Headline
- Coronet hits the high notes with Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s debut
- Previously undiscovered King-Smith title to be published by Puffin
- HoZ wins three-way auction for 'sparkling' Ali-Afzal debut
- Puffin acquires new picture book inspired by Roald Dahl