Penguin Michael Joseph has acquired two more novels from Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes (Penguin Michael Joseph, 2019).
Jessica Leeke, publisher, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Keane’s debut novel The Walking People, and a new novel, The Half Moon, from Jenny Meyer (on behalf of Chris Calhoun). US rights to The Half Moon have been sold to Scribner.
The Walking People was originally published in the US Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2009, but this is the first time it will be published in the UK. The debut tells the story of young Irish woman Greta Cahill’s new life in 1960s New York, and is billed as an "immersive, compassionate story of self-discovery, identity and a decades old family secret".
Penguin Michael Joseph will publish The Walking People in hardback on 4th March 2021, followed by The Half Moon in hardback in 2023.
Leeke, who acquired Keane's Fever (2013) for Simon & Schuster in the author's first UK deal, said: "I was delighted to be reunited with Mary Beth at Penguin Michael Joseph when we bought Ask Again, Yes. We’re firmly committed to this author, who writes with remarkable range and power. Her fiction is deeply moving and we are so ambitious for her here in the UK and beyond. We’re all thrilled to have this opportunity to continue what we have begun, thanks to the support and passion of readers across the trade."
Keane commented: "I am beyond thrilled that my first novel will be given a second life thanks to Jess and the whole gang at Michael Joseph. I'm so looking forward to seeing it on stands on that side of the Atlantic, where Greta's story began. And then to have The Half Moon in the same trusted hands is more than just good business. With the exception of my family, these novels are everything to me, and for one editor to have shepherded all four to publication means the world."