Hodder & Stoughton has acquired an award-winning French novel and commercial-literary crossover, The Last of Our Kind (Le Dernier Des Nôtres) by Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre.
Senior editor Emma Herdman bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Susanna Lea Associates, and Hodder will publish in spring 2018.
The book has a dual narrative and "broad appeal", according to Hodder, as "a novel of family and love that seamlessly blends fact with fiction: an impossible love story at a time when everything was possible".
Werner Zilch, an up and coming entrepreneur in early 1970s New York, was adopted as an infant by a loving middle class couple in New Jersey, and knows nothing of his biological family – nor is he particularly interested. But when he meets the family of Rebecca, the one woman he has truly fallen in love with, a mysterious link means he finds himself at risk of losing her unless he can uncover the truth of his past. In this way, it takes the reader to 1945 Dresden, the Bavarian Alps and uncovers Operation Paperclip – whereby Nazi scientists were taken to America after the war.
The Last of Our Kind has been nominated for Grand Prix de l’Académie Française, longlisted for the Prix de Flore and Prix Interaillié, shortlisted for Prix Renaudot and Prix Landerneau and won the inaugural Filigranes prize, awarded to the book which is the most page-turning and accessible. It was published by Grasset in August 2016. Offers are reportedly on the table in Germany and Italy.
Clermont-Tonnerre is a journalist and novelist based in Paris. Her first novel, Fourrure, won five literary prizes and was a finalist for the Goncourt prize for début fiction. The Last of Our Kind is her second novel.