Romanian novel sparks pre-Frankfurt auctions

Romanian novel sparks pre-Frankfurt auctions

An auction will begin in Germany this afternoon (Monday) for a Romanian novel, The Book of Mirrors by E O Chirovichi, with 11 publishers already having put forward bids. A UK auction is also set to begin on Wednesday (26th September), with PFD already having turned down “an incredible UK pre-empt”.

Rachel Mills, agent and international business director at PFD, said “several” UK publishers have indicated they want to be part of the auction.

The Book of Mirrors, written in English, is described by PFD as a “brilliantly compelling upmarket whodunit - The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair meets 'Serial' with echoes of The Secret History”. When big-shot New York literary agent Peter Katz receives a partial book submission entitled 'The Book of Mirrors', he is intrigued. Its author, Richard Flynn, is apparently writing a memoir about his time as an English student at Princeton in the late 1980s, documenting his relationship with psychology student Laura Baines, protégée of the famous Professor Joseph Wieder. One night just before Christmas 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.

Now, 25 years later, Katz suspects that Flynn is either using his book to confess to the murder, or to finally reveal who committed the violent crime. But Flynn is dying in hospital, so Katz assigns the case to his friend, investigative journalist John Keller. His investigation inspires retired police detective Roy Freeman, one of the original investigators assigned to the murder case, to try and solve the case once and for all.

The Book of Mirrors is the first submission by Marilia Savvides, who joined PFD as a foreign rights agent in 2012 and began to take on her own clients this summer.

So far PFD has had 13 different countries making offers, and has accepted pre-empts from Longanesi in Italy, Literatura Random House in Spain, Grup62 in Catalan, Cappelen Damm in Norway, HR Ferdinand in Denmark, and AW Bruna in the Netherlands.

There are also multiple offers from France, Sweden, Finland and Brazil.

Chirovici was born in Transylvania to a Romanian-Hungarian-German family. He made his literary debut with a collection of short stories, and his first novel, The Massacre, sold over 100,000 copies in the Romanian language, said PFD.