HQ triumphs in nine-way auction for 'phenomenal' Lien's debut novel

HQ triumphs in nine-way auction for 'phenomenal' Lien's debut novel

HQ has triumphed in a nine-way auction for the debut novel by "phenomenal talent" Tracey Lien. 

Manpreet Grewal, publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including Australasia and excluding Canada, for All That's Left Unsaid and one other novel alongside Sue Brockhoff, publishing director at HQ Australia. Rights were acquired from Emma Finn at C&W Agency on behalf of Hillary Jacobson at ICM in New York. Emily Krump at William Morrow acquired US rights in both novels at auction from Jacobson. Foreign rights have also sold in Germany, Holland, Romania, Italy and Japan.

All That’s Left Unsaid is set in 1996, in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, and centres around the brutal murder of local teenager, Denny. Returning home to Cabramatta for the funeral, Denny’s older sister, Ky, learns that the police are stumped by Denny’s case: several people were present at Denny’s murder, but each bystander claims to have seen nothing. Ky determines to track down the witnesses herself, and by peeling back the layers of the place that shaped her, Ky confronts the complex traumas weighing on those present the night Denny died, and finds that the seeds of violence that led to his death were planted well before that fateful night: by colonialism, by the war in Vietnam, and by the choices they have all made to survive.

Lien said: "Anti-Asian hate has received a lot of attention over the past 18 months, but the tension, confusion, and oftentimes pain of growing up Asian in Australia—or the United Kingdom and America, for that matter—existed well before then. I am thankful that Manpreet and Emily are as passionate as I am about exploring this issue through a novel that takes place in a part of Australia that means so much to me, and am absolutely thrilled to be working under their thoughtful and enthusiastic guidance."

Grewal said: "In All That’s Left Unsaid, Tracey probes the intricate bonds of friendship, family and community, all connected by a sister’s grief-fuelled drive to discover the truth, while also exploring racism and inherited trauma during a time in Australia’s history many of us know very little about. It spoke to me in a million different and very personal ways, and I’m so excited to launch it here. The entire team have been ready to start work the second I shared the manuscript, such is the strength of our collective belief in its power and importance. It’s going to be a very exciting and important road towards publication."

Finn added: "When Hillary first shared this novel with me, I was completely locked in its grip from page one. Tracey is a phenomenal talent and has managed to create both a riveting murder mystery and a nuanced and devastating dissection of racism and the legacy of trauma in Australia. It is electrifying and compulsive in equal measure and I can’t wait to see it launched by Manpreet and the team at HQ next year."

All That’s Left Unsaid will be published in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio in September 2022.