William Heinemann has bought World English Language rights to Jonathan Lee’s new novel, Brighton Heights.
Jason Arthur, publisher, acquired the rights from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander Associates, and sold North American rights to Diana Tejerina Miller at Knopf.
Arthur said: “I’m utterly delighted that we’ll be publishing Jonathan’s new novel. I have loved his writing since first reading his debut novel, and have seen him become surer and more accomplished with every book. With this new novel, he is writing at the height of his power, and proving himself to be one of the most exciting British writers at work today.”
Based on the real-life assassination attempt of Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet in 1984, when a man calling himself Roy Walsh planted a bomb in The Grand Hotel in Brighton where they would be staying, the novel moves in between fiction and fact. It contrasts the luxurious hospitality of a British tourist town with the troubled city of Belfast at the height of the armed struggle between the Irish Republican Army and those loyal to the UK government.
Lee was born in Surrey but currently lives in New York. His first novel, Who is Mr Satoshi? (William Heinemann), was nominated for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011 and shortlisted for an MJA Open Book Award 2011. His second novel, Joy (William Heinemann), published in 2013, was shortlisted for the Encore Award.
William Heinemann will publish Brighton Heights in hardback and as an e-book in February 2015.