A “controversial” novel about a pupil and teacher who meet 17 years after they have an affair, a US debut about a hostage, and a new collection of Kate Bush photographs, are among the deals announced as London Book Fair opens.
Michael Joseph editor Kimberley Atkins bought UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, to This Secret We’re Keeping, the story of a pupil/teacher relationship by Rebecca Done, from Rebecca Ritchie at Curtis Brown in a two-book deal. Atkins said: “This is a page-turning emotional drama with integrity and depth, and a provocative plot perfect for reading groups.” Michael Joseph will publish This Secret We’re Keeping in 2016.
Meanwhile Picador editorial director Francesca Main has pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights to an American debut novel, All That’s Left To Tell by Daniel Lowe, from Kerry Nordling for Flatiron Books.
All That’s Left To Tell is the story of Marc Laurent, a mid-level Pepsi executive held hostage in Karachi by an unnamed group of terrorists. Night after night, he is blindfolded and visited by a mysterious woman named Josephine. He knows very little about her, but she seems to know quite a lot about him – including the fact that his only daughter Claire was killed a month before and that Marc didn’t go home for her funeral. When Josephine insists that she and Marc tell one another stories about Claire – some true, some imagined – Marc is incensed. But as the stories unfold Marc finds himself confronting the loss of a daughter he barely knew, even as his own death draws closer.
Main described the book as “part Life After Life, part One Thousand And One Nights”. She said: “It’s a lyrical, atmospheric and heartfelt story of a father reconnecting with his daughter and the power of the imagination. It’s about the stories we tell to make sense of the past and about the myriad ways that life might have turned out differently.”
All That’s Left To Tell will be a lead Picador debut in spring 2017.
Ebury Press has acquired Love Sick, a “witty collection of uplifting, pin-sharp and contemporary doodles” by Jessie Cave, who played Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter films. Deputy m.d. and publisher Jake Lingwood bought British Commonwealth rights from Jon Elek at United Agents.
In 2010 Cave began a self-tasked mission to post a doodle a day on Twitter inspired by the angst and worry felt by all young women.
Lingwood said: “I think Jessie’s doodles are really amazing. They’re maybe what you’d get if you forced David Shrigley and Modern Toss under pain of death to draw the Love Is cartoons. There’s a wonderful healthy cynicism running through the whole project and, frankly, they just make you laugh out loud. This is a cult thing and Jessie has become an instant heroine among the younger members of the Ebury team.”
Love Sick will be published by Ebury Press in July 2015 as a hardback original.
The Bodley Head has pre-empted The Cure: The New Science of Immunity and the Dawn of Health Revolution by Professor Daniel M Davis. Editorial Director Will Hammond acquired world rights from Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson.
The book shows how the vast majority of the ailments we suffer are cured without our even realising it, and explains how and why health is affected by sleep, stress, nutrition, old age, the time of day and our state of mind. Davis is professor of immunology at the University of Manchester. His book The Compatibility Gene (Allen Lane) was longlisted for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Science Book Prize, and shortlisted for the Society of Biology book prize.
Little, Brown is to publish a second collection of photographs of Kate Bush.
Kate will include images of the singer throughout her career, including out-takes from classic album shoots and never- before-seen photographs from The Dreaming and Hounds of Love sessions, and rare candid studio shots and behind-the- scenes stills from video sets, including "Army Dreamers" and "Running Up that Hill".
Bush’s brother John Carder Bush will write two new essays for the books. "Inside the Rainbow" will describe “in vibrant detail their shared childhood and the early, whirlwind days of Kate’s career”, while "My Sister, My Sitter" “vividly evokes John’s experience of photographing his sister”.
He said: “For me, each of these images forms part of a golden thread that shoots through the visual tapestry of Kate's remarkable career. Storytelling has always been the heartbeat of Kate's body of work, and it has been a privilege to capture these photographic illustrations that accompany those magical tales.”
Last year Little, Brown’s Sphere imprint reissued Cathy, Carder Bush’s collection of photographs of Bush as a young girl.
A limited run of special editions of Kate will be available from www.katebook.co.uk.
Kate will be published on 22nd October 2015, as a £40 hardback.