A novel by a protégé of Mary Beard, a parenting guide and a south-east Asian cookbook are among the titles signed by publishers ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Transworld has signed a debut by Emily Hauser, a Cambridge Classics graduate, with editorial director Simon Taylor buying world rights to For the Most Beautiful and two further novels from Roger Field of the Roger Field Agency.
For the Most Beautiful is a retelling of Homer’s The Iliad, about the abduction of Helen by Paris, Prince of Troy. Both of Hauser’s other novels will also draw on Greek myths.
Taylor said: “One could perhaps be forgiven for expecting a reinterpretation of Homer by an academic to be a little dry or dusty, but nothing could be further from the truth: what Emily has done is transform a classic tale that we thought we knew into something spectacularly fresh and exciting with the deftness of a natural storyteller.”
For the Most Beautiful will be published in Doubleday hardback and e-book in early 2016, and subsequently as a Black Swan paperback.
Meanwhile independent graphic novel publisher SelfMadeHero has signed up The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, his first graphic novel in almost a decade. M.d. Emma Hayley signed UK and Commonwealth rights from First Second Books.
McCloud is the author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Harper) widely considered a bible for comic creators. However, The Sculptor sees McCloud moving into adult storytelling, with a plot that sees artist David Smith make a deal with death, allowing him to sculpt anything he can imagine, in exchange for only having 200 days to live. Mark Siegel, editorial director at First Second Books said: "I was inspired all over again by a work that transcends theory and joins the domain of great storytelling. If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife this book will cast a spell on you."
Hodder imprint Yellow Kite has acquired The Conscious Parent by Shefail Tsabary, a guide to parenting.
Publisher Liz Gough bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Namaste Publishing in Canada in a deal brokered by Neil Gudovitz at Waterside Productions.
Tsabary is a clinical psychologist whose ‘conscious parenting’ methods “turn the traditional notion of parenting on its head calling you to turn away from the standard parent-to-child 'know it all' approach to a mutual 'parent-with-child' relationship in which the parent learns alongside the child”.
Gough said: “The Conscious Parent makes people think about the role of parenthood in an entirely different way. On reading the book, mums and dads will feel empowered by Dr Shefali Tsabary's experience and wisdom, and have the confidence to do things differently and forge a close, positive relationship with their children. It has had such a positive life changing effect on so many families in the US and I am truly excited about publishing it here in the UK.”
Yellow Kite will publish The Conscious Parent in trade paperback on 15th January 2015.
Penguin imprint Fig Tree has a new book on south-east Asian cooking by Singaporean food writer, cook, designer and blogger Shu Han Lee. Publishing director Juliet Annan bought world rights to Chicken and Rice and All Things Nice from Emily Sweet at new agency Emily Sweet Associates.
Lee, who blogs at mummyicancook, presents south-east Asian cooking as adapted for a seasonal climate, using authentic methods and ingredients but incorporating locally available produce.
Annan said: “Shu Han Lee is such an amazing young talent: she is the only cookery writer we’ve acquired who can photograph, illustrate and design their own book, while also writing a cookery book that combines the practical and utterly delicious with wit and humour. This will be a lovely book with a very clear message, about how Shu learned to cook South East Asian food with fresh British ingredients.”
Fig Tree will publish Chicken and Rice and All Things Nice in spring 2016.