Pan Macmillan has signed A Jewish Girl in Paris by Melanie Levensohn, a dual narrative Second World War novel inspired by a true story, following an exclusive submission.
Gillian Green, publishing director at Pan Macmillan, bought world rights, excluding Germany, Italy and France, from Jacklyn Saferstein-Hansen at Renaissance Literary & Talent. The novel will be translated into English from German by Jamie Lee Searle. It will publish in summer 2022 in hardback.
Originally published in Germany as Zwischen uns ein ganzes Leben (Fischer), the novel is centred around a love story between a Jewish girl and a Christian boy, the son of a Nazi sympathiser, in 1940s Paris. It is inspired by the true story of the cousin of the author’s husband.
Melanie Levensohn is the second woman of that name in her family—the first Melanie Levensohn lived in Paris during the war but no one knows for sure if she survived. The author has used family documents as the starting point for her novel and it is written with the full support of her family including Jacobina, the first Melanie’s younger sister who is still alive and living in Montreal.
Green said: “Working in commercial fiction, it’s rare for me to acquire books in translation—I’ve done it only a handful of times in my career, most recently with Antonio Iturbe and his forthcoming The Prince of the Skies as well as his The Librarian of Auschwitz. However, even reading the few pages I had in English for Melanie’s novel it was clearly a remarkable story—and the real life drama behind it is just as compelling. I’m honoured that we will be publishing this powerful, heartfelt novel here at Pan Macmillan.”
Levensohn added: “I‘m thrilled that Pan Macmillan acquired the world rights to my debut novel and look forward to working on it with Gillian. It makes me truly happy to know that the literary memory I created for my namesake will soon be available to a wider English-speaking audience.”