PRH signs audio rights to Barker catalogue

PRH signs audio rights to Barker catalogue

Penguin Random House has acquired the audio rights for Pat Barker's catalogue, commissioning new readings by a star cast including include Simon Russell Beale (pictured).

The new editions include Russell Beale (pictured) reading the Regeneration trilogy, Colin Salmon reading Double Vision and Jeremy Irvine narrating Border Crossing, all to be published on 26th August.

James Keyte, senior commissioning editor, acquired unabridged audio rights for the UK and Commonwealth from Amy St Johnston on behalf of Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander.

Barker was born in Yorkshire and began her literary career in her forties, when she took a short writing course taught by Angela Carter. Encouraged by Carter to continue writing, she sent her fiction out. Thirty-five years later, she has published 16 novels, been made a CBE for services to literature, and won the Booker Prize for The Ghost Road (Penguin).

Her most recent novel, The Silence of the Girls (Penguin), began the story of Briseis, the forgotten woman at the heart of The Iliad. It was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize, and won an Independent Bookshop Award 2019. The Women of Troy, which Hamish Hamilton publishes in August 2021, continues that story.

She said: “I'm thrilled to have my books brought to life for a new generation of readers, and by such fine actors.”

Russell Beale said: “Pat Barker is one of our most dazzling writers and the Regeneration series is a modern masterpiece. The opportunity to record these books is one I could not miss. I first read them years ago and was bowled over by the tenderness and the lack of sentimentality that this wonderful novelist brought to her picture of men and women living through the First World War. It’s an honour to experience that again.”