Headline has acquired American journalist Alexandra Andrews’ "taught, twisty, character-driven" début novel, Who is Maud Dixon?, with rights have being gobbled up in 20 other territories and Universal Pictures optioning film rights.
Headline executive publisher Imogen Taylor acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown at auction, while Jennifer Joel at ICM Partners sold North American rights to Judith Clan at Little, Brown. Other territories the title has gone to include Germany (Goldmann), France (Éditions Les Escales), Italy (Edizioni Piemme) and world Spanish (AdN). Universal has optioned the book, with Amy Pascal and Chris Morgan on board as producers. Headline will publish under the Tinder Press imprint in 2021.
The publisher said the novel is about "two anti-heroines, one a famous novelist and the other a small-town striver locked in a struggle for fortune and fame".
Andrews, who has worked at New York investigative journalism non-profit organisation ProPublica, for the Paris Review and as a commercial copywriter, said: “I’m thrilled that Who is Maud Dixon? is being published by Little, Brown in the US and Headline in the UK. I've long admired their books, and I know I'm in excellent hands with Judy and Imogen.”
Taylor added: “In Alexandra Andrews’ novel, we have two fabulous and spiky characters, editorial assistant Florence—who believes she will, one day, become a famous novelist, and Maud, who already is one, but won’t reveal her true identity. Two outsiders, both helping each other out. Or are they? It’s twisted, kooky and deliciously fun.”