Orpheus myth inspires new Almond novel

Orpheus myth inspires new Almond novel

Hodder Children's Books has bought two contemporary novels for teens from Carnegie Medal winner David Almond, including one inspired by the myth of Orpheus.

Publishing director Anne McNeil bought world English language rights for two books from Catherine Clarke of the Felicity Bryan agency.

Eurydice Grey will be published in autumn 2014. Set in the North East, it will tell of Emma, Eurydice's best friend, who witnesses first Eurydice's dramatic love affair with Orpheus, and later the devastating loss when her friend is taken from this world. "This is her story – as she bears witness to a love, so complete, so sure, that not even death can prove final," HCB said.

McNeil said the new book would be "a wonderful addition" to the HCB list, saying: "David Almond's voice is simply unique… He takes his inspiration from mythology but it is his captivating sense of the world and how it works, both internally and externally, that always leaves the reader breathless."

Almond commented: "The Orpheus myth is one of civilisation's great stories and has always been a major force in my life and in my work. Eurydice Grey feels like a book that I have been destined to write. I am totally delighted that this book has been acquired by Hodder Children's Books, and it's great that this news coincides with the launch of the beautiful 15th anniversary edition of Skellig."

HCB has announced that English language sales of Skellig have now topped one million copies. The book has recorded 271,310 UK TCM sales through Nielsen BookScan.