LBF: The Ones to Watch: Part One

LBF: The Ones to Watch: Part One

Rogers, Coleridge & White has tied up widespread deals for a new Ian McEwan novel, Sweet Tooth, featuring a young female student at Cambridge in the early 1970s who is recruited to the intelligence services. Serena Frome, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on what she’s told is a secret mission to bring her into the world of a promising young writer, but finds a growing love for him disturbing the fiction of her undercover life. Jonathan Cape will publish in August, and Doubleday have US rights. RCW is also bringing new novels from Zadie Smith (NW) and Nicola Baker (The Yips, set in Luton and described as “the filthiest state-of-the-nation novel since Martin Amis’ Money”). Also in RCW’s bag is a new novel from Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English, about a teenager, her mother and her Hungarian grandmother; and Meeting the English, a first novel from poet Kate Clanchy, set in the late 1980s.

David Higham Associates has a “powerful and provocative” new novel from Naomi Alderman, The Liar’s Gospel, set in Judea under a brutal Roman occupation and showing Jesus through the eyes of his mother and of Judas, among others. Meanwhile, James Herbert’s new chiller Ash, to be published in September, will also be shown at the fair. DHA will also be looking for more international deals for Lucy Diamond’s relationships drama Summer with My Sister, already sold in Germany, Holland and France, and Amy Bratley’s The Saturday Supper Club, sold in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Craig Russell’s Dead Men and Broken Hearts, the latest of his Glasgow-set novels featuring private investigator Lennox, is another book being pushed at LBF.

Blake Friedmann is taking Lawrence Norfolk’s first novel for 12 years, John Saturnall’s Feast. Set during the English Civil War, the title will be published by Bloomsbury UK and Grove Atlantic USA this autumn, with nine translating publishers to follow. Translation deals are also anticipated for Monique Roffey’s new novel Archipelago—out from Simon & Schuster in July—concerning a family tragedy in the Caribbean and newly praised by Andrew Miller as “a brilliant piece of storytelling”. Manu Joseph—the author of Serious Men, which was sold in 12 countries—is also returning with a second novel, set in contemporary India. The Illicit Happiness of Other People has been called “darkly comic, poignant and profound”. John Murray will publish Joseph again in the UK, while Norton will publish in the US. Agent Isobel Dixon is anticipating response both from option publishers and “a range of new markets and languages”. The agency also has an “astonishing” first novel by Muriel Macleod. Set in Louisiana in the early years of the 20th century, Arletta’s Letters is about a young black girl who fights back against white abusers with the help of her voodoo priestess mother. A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz is said to be the first in a trilogy of historical speculative fiction set during the Belle Époque.

Curtis Brown is selling a picaresque historical novel by Jonathan Grimwood, who writes historical fantasy for Orbit as Jon Courtenay-Grimwood. Master of the Menagerie, set in 18th-century France and telling of an orphan aristocrat and menagerie-owner, is currently on submission in the UK. CB is also selling Line-up, a novel by bestselling Israeli thriller writer Liad Shoham, who has not been previously published in the UK, and Deborah Moggach’s novel, Heartbreak Hotel, a romantic comedy set in a Welsh guesthouse, which has already gone to Chatto & Windus in the UK. The Silver Dark Sea, a new novel by Susan Fletcher, which is out from Fourth Estate this summer, has already garnered foreign sales in France (Pion) and Holland (Artemis).
United Agents is taking a series of three crime thrillers by début author Luke Delaney, a former Metropolitan Police detective, for which world English-language rights have been acquired by Kate Elton and Sarah Hodgson at HarperCollins in the UK, together with William Morrow in the US. The first novel is titled Senseless and translation rights have already gone to Mondadori in Italy, Luebbe in Germany, Unieboek in the Netherlands, Rocco in Brazil and Cappelen Damm in Norway. Meanwhile, UK offers are 
in for a début novel by Guardian journalist Susie Steiner, titled Ordinary Losses, about a troubled family on a Yorkshire farm; and a UK 
deal is soon to be concluded for a second début, The Banner of Passing Clouds by Anthea Nicholson, about the history of Georgia. UK offers are also in for The Lion and the Lamb, a novel about Roman Britain by John Henry Clay.

Diane Banks Associates is bringing an “arresting” début novel, Once Upon a Timepiece by Justin Wood, which explores perception of time and the interconnectivity of the human race via an antique watch; a UK deal is “pending” on the book. Meanwhile, the agency also has the “real-life Downton-style” memoirs of 95-year-old Mollie Moran, a former domestic servant in the 1930s, and Mum’s Army, the memoirs of 86-year-old Winifred Philipps, who was the first female Chelsea Pensioner following a long career in the army.

Luigi Bonomi Associates has a new novel from Dean Crawford, Immortal, described as a fast-paced cross-genre adventure, to be published by S&S in the UK and the US, with translation rights with ILA. LBA also has Amanda Brooke’s Yesterday’s Sun, a story about a mother who realises that if she chooses to have her longed-for baby it will result in her own death (with HC UK and Harper USA), and Richard Madeley’s psychological suspense début Some Day I’ll Find You, for which world English rights have gone to S&S.

A P Watt has Felix Martin’s Money: The Unauthorised Biography. The author has worked for the World Bank and for a leading bond fund; the book will “show that the conventional understanding of money is wrong . . . with radical implications for economics, finance and the future of capitalism”. In fiction, the agency has Nick Osborne’s Refuge, a love story between a young Afghan woman and a gulf war veteran who meet in Peshawar in the early 1990s, as well as Jane Thynne’s Black Roses, a spy thriller set in Berlin in the 1930s among a group of Nazi wives—already sold in the UK to S&S, as well as to Lattes in France. Ben Cheetham’s Blood Guilt, featuring DI Harlan Miller, is currently on submission in the UK. A P Watt is also offering a memoir from Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records.