MacLehose Press has acquired new books by German writers Timur Vermes and Judith Schalansky.
Schalansky, the author of The Atlas of Remote Islands, is returning with An Inventory of Certain Losses, a work of non-fiction that considers in 12 chapters the after-echoes of things that have disappeared from our world, or been destroyed over time – a Pacific atoll, the love poems of Sappho, a species of tiger, a painting by Caspar David Friedrich. Bill Swainson, MacLehose consultant editor, said: “We are delighted to have acquired this exceptional, meditative book, which is reminiscent in its originality of W G Sebald; Judith is one of Germany’s outstanding writers and most inventive book designers.”
In Germany, the book has been awarded the Wilhelm Raabe Preis (€30,000) ahead of publication. Swainson bought UK & commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Nora Mercurio at Suhrkamp Verlag, with translation rights sold to five territories. MacLehose Press will publish in Spring 2020.
Meanwhile MacLehose Press has also acquired world English language rights in Timur Vermes’ Die Hungrigen und die Satten (The Hungry and the Fat), which imagines a scenario in which Europe’s borders are closed, and 150,000 migrants nevertheless set off on foot from sub-Saharan Africa, with a German reality TV star/supermodel as their figurehead. Katharina Bielenberg, associate publisher at MacLehose, said: “After the brilliant originality of Look Who’s Back, we have keenly anticipated what Timur would write next. Once again he has taken an extraordinary concept to its apparently logical conclusion, and brought his political and human insight to a devastating satirical novel about the haves and the have-nots in our divided world.”
Vermes’ novel, published in Germany on August 28, was immediately a Spiegel #1 bestseller, and rights have so far been sold in eight territories. MacLehose Press did its deal with Melanie Pirkotsch at Bastei Lübbe/Eichborn on behalf of Michael Meller Agency and will publish in early 2020.
MacLehose puts UK sales of 2010's The Atlas of Remote Islands at 40,000 (Nielsen BookScan's TCM, 19,569), and Look Who’s Back at 125,000 (97,429 via BookScan).