Pushkin Press has sold YA debut Bearmouth by Liz Hyder to Norton in the US following a three-way bidding war with film rights also sold.
Published last September, Pushkin had originally secured world rights from Anwen Hooson at the Bird Literary Agency. Subsequently a three-way auction has seen Simon Boughton of Norton in New York snap up North American rights. The publishing director of Norton Books for Young Readers negotiated the deal with Allison Hellegers of Stimola Literary Studio on behalf of Pushkin.
Additionally French language rights for the YA fantasy novel have sold to Thomas Leclere, editor at Le Seuil in France, in a deal handled by Margot Edwards for Pushkin. Film rights have been acquired by Binocular, the London-based production company founded by Oscar-nominated writer Matt Charman, known for films such as “Bridge of Spies”.
Pushkin’s publisher and m.d. Adam Freudenheim revealed how he was first absorbed by Hyder’s debut. “From the first pages of Bearmouth I was struck by its hugely original literary voice and passionate sense of justice as well. I’m delighted this is now being recognized around the world.”
Boughton said: “I loved Bearmouth from its very first page. An utterly distinct narrative voice, propulsive, page-turning storytelling, high stakes, and a sense of moral purpose make this an arresting and compelling novel. It’s exactly the kind of distinctive and original fiction we’re looking to publish on Norton Young Readers’ small and carefully curated list.”
Leclere added: “Newt's voice runs through the story like a blade that doesn't miss its mark. It reveals the coming of the light in a world of darkness; the elevation of the soul from the acceptance of slavery to the spirit of freedom. Because the future of humanity can't possibly be such horror in the depths of a mine.”