Philip Gwyn Jones, editor-at-large at Scribe, has made a trio of acquisitions including a "science book that reads like a novel" about the Italian polymath Jerome Cardano, a book bought at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Gwyn Jones pre-empted UK and British Commonwealth rights to The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook by Michael Brooks from Patrick Walsh at PEW. Italian rights have also been pre-empted by Bollati Boringhieri.
Gwyn Jones said: "I have a new hero. Jerome Cardano. Who's he?! Well, gambler and self-harmer, plagued by demons and anxieties, stubborn and unworldly, the son of a mathematician and a brothel keeper, but also unacknowledged discoverer and prefigurer of so much, earlier than those usually credited with said discoveries, in 16h-century Europe, I discover (probability, imaginary numbers, statistics, atomic physics, oh, and even quantum theory) - at least that is the argument of this scintillatingly charming and intoxicatingly clever [manuscript] truly original in its style, hybridity and panache.
"The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook is a science book that reads like novel, for readers of Carlo Rovelli or Umberto Eco. A prize winner, by my lights. A work of and about genius", Gwyn Jones added.
Meanwhile Scribe will also publish The Dictionary of Animal Languages, a debut novel by Canadian writer and designer, Heidi Sopinka. Gwyn Jones acquired world English rights (excluding Canada) to the title from Jane Finigan at Lutyens & Rubinstein. Canadian rights have gone to Penguin Canada.
The novel is a "voice-driven" character study of an elderly woman born to a wealthy family in Lancashire, educated by nuns, who found herself through art, and then lived amongst artists in interwar Paris.
Gwyn Jones has also acquired world English language rights to a "remarkable publication from Sweden", entitled 1947: When Now Begins by Elisabeth Åsbrink. Rights were bought from Jonas Axelsson at Partners in Stories on a pre-empt.
"Using an international array of material – documents, letters, broadcasts – orchestrated deftly into a choral symphony of stirring, stimulating voices, Åsbrink chronicles the creation of the world we now inhabit as the exhaustion of a fresh postwar peacetime turns into the febrile anxiety of the Cold War; and the forces that will go on to govern all our lives during the decades since first make themselves known", Gwyn Jones said.
Åsbrink first came to prominence as the investigative journalist who revealed to the world the Nazi leanings of IKEA’s founder. She won the August Prize in 2011 and the Kapuscinski Award for Reportage in 2013. She is a playwright, a TV reporter, and a seamstress, and has worked with Bjorn and Benny from Abba.