Penguin Michael Joseph has pre-empted Scottish freelance journalist Claire Alexander’s debut novel Meredith, Alone in a “major” six-figure deal.
Publisher Jessica Leeke acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Juliet Mushens at Mushens Entertainment in a two-book deal. It will be a major launch for Michael Joseph, publishing early summer 2022 in hardback, e-book and audio.
Rights have also been pre-empted in seven other territories, including a six-figure deal in Germany, and at auction in North America to Beth de Guzman at Grand Central Publishing by the Bent Agency's Jenny Bent on behalf of Mushens.
The synopsis states: “Meredith, Alone tells the story of the perfectly ordinary, perfectly extraordinary Meredith Maggs who has not left her house for 1,215 days. Why? And what will it take to get her through her own front door?”
Leeke said: “This is a novel that truly delivers on its emotional promise. It was conceived and written before the pandemic, but this past year we’ve experienced so differently together makes this story relatable and unforgettable. What keeps Meredith at home for so long is dark, but what saves her are the joys of life we know better than ever we can’t survive without: friends and family, support and connectedness. So while this is a novel that explores with sensitivity and nuance some important issues, it also celebrates what we all deserve: love, kindness, hope and jigsaw puzzles. Claire’s is a warm and incredibly touching voice on the page and we can’t wait to introduce her to readers, particularly those local to her in Scotland where this novel is set."
Alexander added: “My incredible agent, Juliet, has truly found the best home for my novel. To be working with Jessica and the Penguin Michael Joseph team is a lifelong dream come true — I was absolutely blown away by their enthusiasm and affection for Meredith. I’m so excited for the world to meet her too.”