Picador has acquired the next two novels by Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist and The Muse.
Burton's first new novel in the deal will centre on themes of love, sex, work and motherhood and "the wildly divergent paths our lives can take". The as-yet-untitled novel will tell the story of three women – Elise Morceau, Rebecca Holden and Laura Simmons – and "the complex connections they have shared across decades and continents".
Publishing director Francesca Main, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens, said working with Burton to date has been "an incredible thrill and honour" and the team "can't wait to see her go from strength to strength" looking ahead.
Mushens echoed the sentiment calling the experience of working with Burton "a delight" and "a dream" after seeing her debut sell in 38 countries around the world. She added: "With Francesca Main at the helm of her publishing, I know this is just the beginning of her career, and cannot wait for even more readers to fall in love with her words."
Burton's debut novel The Miniaturist (Picador) launched her career as an internationally bestselling author in 2014, going on to sell over a million copies worldwide, with a major new BBC TV adaptation starring Romola Garai due to air this winter. But life in the spotlight since its whirlwind success has not always been easy as Burton documented in a blog on the pressure this put her under while writing her second novel. "When something you have made in private is mass-consumed, the irony is that the magnifying glass burns even brighter on you as an individual," she wrote, going on to say: "The challenge of writing another book, given what had happened with the first, began to prove too much."
In total Burton has now sold 688,283 books for £4.57m through Nielsen Bookscan, with The Miniaturist and her 2016 second novel The Muse selling 391,166 copies and 143,403 copies respectively in paperback.
Commenting on the new deal, Burton said: "I am so happy to be writing again. To have the support of such a wonderful editor in Francesca Main, and the most fantastic, hard-working publishing team, makes me a very lucky writer indeed. To write novels people want to read seems like such a simple desire – and it still is for me – but it’s a fairly wandering path. Home lies at the end of it, and the sign says Picador."