Scribe has pre-empted a memoir about mourning and mushrooms by Long Litt Woon that was "the talk of the fair" at this autumn's Gothenburg Book Fair.
Long arrived in Norway from Malaysia as a university student. There she met and fell in love with a local man, Eyolf, and their marriage proved the strong force at the centre of her world for the next three decades - until one day her husband set off for work as normal on his bike, only this time never to come back.
Devastated and disoriented, she moved forward robotically, taking up the course at the Natural History Museum on mushroom identification that they had intended to do as a couple. She began to walk tentatively down the path that would eventually lead her out of the darkness into a new light, helped by the magical and mysterious mushrooms about which she became an expert.
The Path Back to Life: of Mushrooms and Mourning was published in Norway by Vigmostad and Bjørke. Scribe publisher-at-large Philip Gwyn Jones acquired World English rights in a preempt from Gina Winje at Winje Agency.
Gwyn Jones said: "As I examined the beautiful Norwegian edition at agent Gina Winje's table, with its sumptuous design, glorious images of these miraculous living beings in all their variety, and two printers' inks - black for the mourning story, brown for the mushroom story - it became apparent to me that this was a unique creation, and one that could speak to many outside Norway too. Facetiously, I began to think of it as Grief Is the Thing with Mushroom Sauce, and on discussing with colleagues further decided it had to be for Scribe. And of course we fervently hope that we can reach the levels of success achieved by another very distinctive Nordic memoir-guide, Lars Mytting's Norwegian Wood (MacLehose Press)."
Long Litt Woon said: "I am absolutely thrilled that Scribe has acquired rights for my book and I cannot wait to meet new English reading friends from around the world."