Hodder Studio has pre-empted Ghost Girl, Banana, an “irresistibly compelling” novel by debut author Wiz Wharton.
Editorial director Sara Adams acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White. Hodder Studio will publish Ghost Girl, Banana as its major launch debut in summer 2023 in hardback, e-book and audiobook. North American rights were acquired in a “significant” pre-empt by Judith Curr at HarperVia; Italian rights have been pre-empted by Piemme; and German rights have sold to Eichborn.
The synopsis explains: “Heartfelt, beautiful, funny and real, Ghost Girl, Banana is an irresistibly compelling exploration of family, identity and what it costs to belong. In 1966, Suk-Yin is exiled from Kowloon to London with orders to restore honour to her family. As she strives to fit into a world that does not understand her, she realises that survival will mean carving out a destiny of her own. Thirty years later, in London, her daughter Lily can barely remember the mother she lost as a small child. When she is unexpectedly named in the will of a powerful Chinese stranger, she embarks on a secret pilgrimage to Hong Kong to discover the lost side of her identity and claim the reward. But she soon learns that the secrecy around her heritage has deep roots, and good fortune comes at a price.”
Wharton said: “I am beyond thrilled that what started as a very personal tribute to my cultural heritage will now have the chance to be heard across both sides of the Atlantic. Both Hodder Studio and HarperVia are setting the standard for publishing international stories that shine a light on previously underrepresented voices and from the moment I met Sara and Judith I knew my novel had found its perfect editors. The themes of identity, belonging and female empowerment are central to Ghost Girl, Banana and I feel privileged to work alongside the vision of these two incredibly strong women to bring its message to readers.”
Adams commented: “It’s so rare that a book captures me from the very first page, but Wiz Wharton’s Ghost Girl, Banana did just that. I knew it was something special immediately, and as soon as I shared it with my team at Hodder Studio, we all fell in love with Wiz’s story and her characters (especially Lily and Suk-Yin), and were in complete admiration of the delicacy and deftness with which Wiz writes such a multilayered, compelling and compassionate novel. We can’t wait to share this spectacular debut with readers and booksellers everywhere.”
Wilson added: “Wiz is a born storyteller and the confidence and emotional resonance of her writing had me utterly hooked from the first page. I was extraordinarily moved by Suk-Yin and Lily’s stories, and it has been an immense privilege to see readers across the world fall head over heels with this book too, at the start of what I know will be a truly exceptional journey for Wiz and her work.”
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