Pan Macmillan has signed a graphic novel edition of Antonio Iturbe's global bestseller The Librarian of Auschwitz.
Publishing director Gillian Green acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Kristin Dulaney, vice-president of subsidiary rights at Henry Holt.
Green previously published the novel at Ebury in 2019. It has gone on to sell 265,562 copies for £1.45m in the UK through Nielsen BookScan.
The Librarian of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Holocaust survivor Dita Kraus, who at the age of 14 became responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles smuggled into Auschwitz, as well as the “living books”: prisoners who knew certain books so well, they could be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp. A former journalist, Iturbe interviewed Kraus before embarking on his novel and the two have become close friends.
Described as an “extraordinary inspirational story of courage and hope”, the graphic novel has been adapted by Salva Rubio and illustrated by Loreto Aroca. As with the original novel, it will be translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites.
Pan Macmillan will publish alongside its US sister company in autumn 2022. It will also be publishing a new novel by Iturbe, The Prince of the Skies, in October 2021.
Green said: “Publishing The Librarian of Auschwitz—and meeting Dita Kraus—has been one of the highlights of my publishing career and I’m delighted that Pan Mac will be bringing this important novel, and Dita’s inspirational story, to a whole new audience in this different format. In recent years we’ve seen a huge rise in literary and non-fiction graphic novels, and it is our absolute honour and privilege to continue to share Dita’s story as widely as possible.”