Pushkin Vertigo will publish London-based psychotherapist Maxine Mei-Fung Chung’s debut novel with film rights snapped up by Jason Bateman for Netflix.
Harriet Wade, editor at the Pushkin crime imprint, has acquired rights to “electric” psychological thriller The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung; a compulsive tale about a young woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder who is drawn deep into London’s seedy criminal underbelly.
Wade bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Eugenie Furniss at 42, who co-represents Chung with Bill Clegg at The Clegg Agency. The Eighth Girl is to be published by William Morrow in the US in March and is “already receiving fantastic pre-publication praise,” Pushkin said. American actor and director Jason Bateman, of “Arrested Development”, Hollywood producer, Michael Costigan, whose credits include “Stoker” and “Brokeback Mountain”, have optioned it for Netflix.
The synopsis reads: “Vulnerable and in danger, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her deadliest obstacle. The combination of emotional nuance and an enthralling sense of pace makes The Eighth Girl a truly unforgettable début.”
Chung is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and clinical supervisor based in London. Prior to that, she worked as a creative director for 10 years at Condé Nast, the Sunday Times and the Times.
Chung said: “I am thrilled by the reception that has been given to my début novel, The Eighth Girl, by the Pushkin Vertigo team, Adam, Harriet, Poppy and beyond. What felt very important is Pushkin's understanding and enthusiasm for what I hoped would not only spark conversation, but also offer psychological suspense while exploring the fracturing weights that young women are continually forced to carry. The Eighth Girl could not be in better hands.”
Wade, who joined Pushkin in June 2019, added: “The Eighth Girl is a forensic (and expert) examination of mental illness, trauma and misogyny. It is the perfect title to represent the new ambitious direction for Vertigo, which is at a time of real growth. The Eighth Girl with its dark and original depiction of a woman in crisis is the perfect fit for the list and I’m thrilled to be publishing it.”