The multi-million-pound-selling Kate Atkinson is back next September with a new novel based on the life of a female former Secret Service worker.
Transcription is described as a novel of “extraordinary power and substance” by publisher Transworld.
It follows the story of Juliet Armstrong, who is recruited as a young woman by an obscure wartime department of the Secret Service. After the war she joins the BBC, but her life begins to unravel and she finally has to come to terms with the consequences of idealism.
Atkinson is a favourite with booksellers, and retailers are likely to be rubbing their hands together at the news, with Transcription's release timed to coincide with the key autumn period in the run up to Christmas next year.
Atkinson has sold 3.3 million print books for £21.1m through Nielsen BookScan across 10 different titles. Her biggest selling book is When Will There Be Good News? (Black Swan), which has sold 520,830 print copies in paperback since its release in 2009, while her most recent title, Costa-winning A God in Ruins, released in 2015, has shifted 212,045 print units.
The author has won the Costa Novel Award three times - in 1995 for Behind the Scenes at the Museum, in 2013 for Life After Life, which was also the winner of the Sky Arts Literature Prize, and again in 2015 for A God in Ruins (All Black Swan).
Life After Life was also voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic and Atkinson was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The book is part of an ongoing contract Transworld has with Atkinson. The publisher holds UK and Commonwealth rights to the title, negotiated through Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
Atkinson is edited in the UK by Marianne Velmans.