Pan Mac signs epic historical novel from Iturbe

Pan Mac signs epic historical novel from Iturbe

Pan Macmillan has signed an epic historical novel from Antonio Iturbe, author of bestseller The Librarian of Auschwitz (Ebury).

Publishing director Gillian Green at Pan Macmillan acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Maria Juncosa Guerra of Grupo Planeta in a joint acquisition with Laura Godwin at Henry Holt. The Prince of the Skies will be released in autumn 2021.

Green and Godwin both previously published The Librarian of Auschwitz, which Green acquired at PRH. It has sold 246,655 copies for £1.35m across all editions in the UK through Nielsen BookScan and was the number one selling book in translation last year.

The Prince of the Skies, originally published by Seix Barral, an imprint of Grupo Planeta as A Cielo Abierto, won the 2017 Biblioteca Breve Prize in Spain when it was first published.

Pan Mac said: “It is a sweeping epic historical novel, based on a true story, about the origins of air mail. It is a biographical novel about the extraordinary life and mysterious death of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, poet, aristocrat, pilot and hero. Saint-Exupéry is also the author of the classic The Little Prince. Antoine finds himself torn between his desire to fly and the woman who loves him. But as war threatens Europe, Antoine’s greatest adventure is yet to come…”

Green commented: “This is an astonishing work of fiction – beautifully written, powerful and lyrical, it is also – as with Librarian - a story about love and war, friendship and heroism, and the power of books to change the world. Publishing The Librarian of Auschwitz has been one of proudest moments of my publishing career to date. I am delighted that Antonio’s new novel is one of my first acquisitions for Pan Macmillan and that we are able to partner with our sister company in the US and publish Antonio globally in the English language market.”

Iturbe added: “I have written the story of an old friend I first met when I was 10 years old, reading The Little Prince. Since then, his stories have accompanied and inspired me throughout many crucial moments in my life. Saint-Exupéry could not see the difference between being an aviator and being a writer: he turned piloting into a poetic act and literature into flying. This is a story of great voyages, infinite love, the spark of the literature trying to illuminate the darkness and the indestructible friendships of a group of aviation pioneers as they fly daringly around the world.”