Picador is to publish Judy Blume’s first adult novel in 16 years, In the Unlikely Event.
Editorial director Francesca Main pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights from Elizabeth Sheinkman at WME.
Blume said that In the Unlikely Event “is based on a series of tragedies in the town I lived in when I was growing up, and the terrible time it was for the adults and the children, although the adults never talked to the children about it”.
Three planes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within the space of three months in the early 1950s, closing Newark airport for a year. Each plane crash was devastating not only for those on board, but also for the close-knit community of people whose homes and lives were irrevocably affected. In Elizabeth, the plane crashes open new wounds and mysteries – they bring some families together and tear others apart. But somehow, life continues – and amid grief and loss, hope and love survive.
Main said: “In the Unlikely Event is a beautifully drawn, deeply moving, unforgettable novel from a master storyteller. It has a big canvas, yet never feels any less than intimate and immediate. As one of millions whose teenage years were immeasurably enriched by reading Judy Blume, it is an indescribable honour to be publishing this book.”
Knopf will publish the book in the US. In the Unlikely Event will be published in hardback in summer 2015.
Judy Blume’s books –adult and children’s – have sold 232,193 copies through Nielsen BookScan.