Sceptre has pre-empted psychiatrist and 12-time Danish table tennis champion Anne Cathrine Bomann's debut novel – a book which has been sold in 20 territories.
Francine Toon, commissioning editor, pre-empted world English language rights from Lena Stjernström at Grand Agency for the book, which has the working title Agathe. It will be published in spring 2020.
The novel, a German bestseller originally published unagented in Denmark, is set in France during 1948. The synopsis explains: “Agathe tells the story of an unnamed psychiatrist who, at 71 years of age, is counting down the days to his imminent retirement. He is reluctant to take on a new client, but a young German woman called Agathe persuades him to talk to her and tackle her longstanding and severe mental health issues. As they begin to unravel the mystery of her life and the darkness that lies at its centre, their discussions give the doctor a new way of looking at the world – one that makes him more open to friendship with those around him and revaluate his life more positively.”
Bomann is a psychologist and lives in Copenhagen with her philosopher boyfriend and their dog Camus. She said: “I am very excited about the prospect of being published by Sceptre among so many authors that I truly admire. Getting my book translated into English is a big step for me, and I almost can't believe my luck.”
Toon added: “I fell for this novel from its opening pages, with its unlikely pairing of a reclusive old psychiatrist and a fascinating, but mentally troubled woman trying to find her way in the world. We’ve seen that the appetite for translated fiction is bigger than ever and so Agathe seemed like the perfect book to publish: beautiful and heart-warming, but with a dark emotional streak. I can’t wait to press this book into people’s hands.”