Piatkus Fiction has won a "laugh-out-loud funny" romance from debut author Jean Meltzer.
Anna Boatman, publisher of PCR Fiction, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in The Matzah Ball and a second novel from Jennifer Choi at MIRA, in a deal agented by Marilyn Biderman and Carolyn Forde of the Transatlantic Agency.
Meltzer said: "The Matzah Ball is a fun and outrageous tale, with a big ending, and I hope people laugh aloud upon reading it – but it is also my story. It’s my journey as an Emmy-award winning writer, hiding my diagnosis of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from employers. It’s my experience as a secular Jew, who became a Conservative, and then Reconstructionist, rabbinical student. It’s my life as a chronically ill woman, homebound and bedbound for two years, needing to find her value separate from what she could achieve."
She added: "I couldn’t be more thrilled that Anna Boatman at Piatkus saw fit to fall in love with, and champion The Matzah Ball, and to place my work beside so many rom-com authors I have long admired."
Boatman commented: "I fell in love with The Matzah Ball from the very first page: a Jewish writer who is secretly a bestselling Christmas romance author was just a glorious idea, and to read such a wholeheartedly Jewish romance also felt like a breath of fresh air. It has also been a long time since I’ve read a love story that manages to deal with serious themes in such a warm-hearted, humorous and yet extremely moving way – I can’t wait for readers to discover Jean’s wonderful writing and I’m so delighted Jean chose to make her home with us."
The Matzah Ball publishes in autumn 2021.