Open Road Integrated Media has acquired the US rights to the digital editions of the Adrian Mole series by late British author Sue Townsend, including the "iconic" The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾.
Rights were acquired by Charlotte Greig, strategic advisor and acquisitions editor for Open Road in London, from Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown. This acquisition represents Open Road’s "ongoing effort to publish the best UK authors and bring their works to its growing audience of readers", Greig said. She added: “Open Road has published ebooks by over a dozen UK authors in the past two years, bringing over one hundred of their backlist books back to life for readers around the world to enjoy”.
The Adrian Mole books, set in 1980s Leicester, England, are a "hilarious" look at the inner life of a teenager. Charting his daily dramas and misadventures, the series follows Adrian as he grows up and into adulthood.
Greig said: “Even thirty years after the first Adrian Mole book was published, he is still heralded as one of the great comic creations of our times. To publish Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole at Open Road and to introduce her comic genius to a whole new audience in a whole new format—what a pleasure what a privilege!”
A "publishing phenomenon", the first book in the series, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾, has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, been translated into 48 languages, and was adapted for television in 1985. Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years was also made into a television series that first aired on the BBC in 2001.
The titles acquired from Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown UK, include US e-book rights for The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾; The Growing Pains Of Adrian Mole; True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole; Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years; Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years; The Lost Diaries Of Adrian Mole: 1999–2001 and Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years.
The books will be published in January 2018.
Townsend died in April 2014 aged 68 after suffering a stroke. At the time, Tom Weldon, c.e.o. of Penguin Random House, said she would be remembered as “one in a handful of this country’s great comic writers”.