Oneworld has acquired UK and British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, with serial and audio rights, to the latest novel from Lemony Snicket, whose real name is Daniel Handler.
Publisher Juliet Mabey bought the rights from Claire Roberts from Claire Roberts Global Literary Management on behalf of Charlotte Sheedy at the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. Katie Jennings, senior commissioning editor for Oneworld children's imprint Rock the Boat, will co-edit.
Oneworld will publish Poison for Breakfast in hardback on 2nd September, and it will be published in the US by Liveright Publishing, an imprint of W W Norton & Company, on 31st August.
Poison for Breakfast is a standalone novel for all ages and will be illustrated by artist Margaux Kent (illustration pictured). The synopsis reads: “Has Lemony Snicket been poisoned? This true story — as true as Lemony Snicket himself — begins with a puzzling note under his door: 'You had poison for breakfast'. And with that, one of the most famous narrators in contemporary middle-grade fiction (and chronicler of other people’s mysteries) finds himself in a race against the clock to solve the mystery of his own demise. Along the way, he takes readers on a delightful journey of philosophy, literature, art, love, life, death and other ‘bewildering’ subjects.”
Mabey said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be publishing this extraordinary and profoundly moving novel from Lemony Snicket, an author whose playful, always thoughtful and distinctive voice we joyously introduced to our own children, and now have the joy of introducing to a brand new readership. It is a classic in the making, very much in the great tradition of modern fables such as The Little Prince and The Phantom Tollbooth, penned as both a love letter to readers and reading, and a meditation on the vagaries of life. I’m confident that it will stir the hearts of young and old alike, both longtime fans and new readers.”
Snicket added: “For far too long my work has bewildered, perplexed and upset readers all over the one world we live in. Oneworld’s decision to publish Poison for Breakfast indicates they are either very brave, very foolish, or as bewildered, perplexed and upset as everyone else.”
Snicket is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, published by Egmont and HarperCollins, as well as several picture books. The Bad Beginning 20th Anniversary Gift Edition: A Series of Unfortunate Events was published by HarperCollins in January to celebrate two decades since the first instalment. He has sold 4.8 million books for £27.6m, with his first Lemony Snicket novel, The Bad Beginning (Egmont), his bestseller on 363,901 copies sold, according to Nielsen BookScan's UK Total Consumer Market.
Paramount released a film adaption of the books, titled "Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events" and starring Jim Carrey, in 2004. Netflix subsequently adapted all 13 books into a drama series in 2014.