Penguin Random House is to publish Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, a "sharply funny and poignant" book which will expand upon the story and characters made famous by the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, set to hit the West End in 2019.
Holly Harris, editorial director of Penguin Random House Children’s, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in to the title Laura Bonner and Siobhan O’Neill of WME.
The book follows the titular character, Evan, a high school senior suffering from anxiety who inadvertently becomes part of a family’s grieving process after their son’s suicide.
"A compelling story of grief, community, and the hunger for connection, Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel offers an "often hilarious, often heartbreaking insight into loneliness and the desire to be noticed in the age of incessant social media", said the publisher.
Written by Val Emmich in collaboration with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel will be published in hardcover and e-book in October 2018, and will be simultaneously published by Little, Brown Books for young readers in the US.
A "bona fide Broadway phenomenon", according to the publisher, Dear Evan Hansen swept the 2017 Tony Awards winning six accolades and has received universal acclaim from critics. New York Times said "it is a gorgeous new musical for anyone with a beating heart". The Washington Post calls it "one of the most remarkable shows in musical theatre history". ABC’s Nightline dubbed the show a "phenomenon", and NBC Nightly News hailed it as "an anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond".
Francesca Dow, m.d. of Penguin Random House Children’s, said: "Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel is an extraordinary novel, and we at Penguin Random House recognised it as an instant bestseller and a classic for our times as soon as we read it. Everyone has an Evan Hansen in their life, but it is rare and important to see him so honestly and warmly represented. The story works beautifully as a novel in its own right, and we feel very privileged to introduce Evan to a UK audience. This is a phenomenon with real heart at its core, and we cannot wait to publish this wonderful book."
Harris said: "We are completely in love with Evan at Penguin Random House. It is an incredible story, and Val Emmich has brought it to life with humour and affection in this fabulous novel. It’s a must-read for people of all ages, that truly changes your view of the world."