Scribner has pre-empted two new novels by Mona Awad, author of Bunny (Head of Zeus).
Chris White, editorial director at the Simon & Schuster imprint, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to All's Well, and a second as yet unamed novel, from Anna Webber at United Agents, on behalf of Bill Clegg at the The Clegg Agency. In separate deals, US rights were sold to Marysue Rucci at Simon & Schuster and Canadian rights were acquired by Nicole Winstanley at Hamish Hamilton.
Commenting on the acquisition, White said, "I hadn’t read Mona’s writing before and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. She is the realest of real deals. She has the confidence to follow her artistic vision where it leads and, wow, does it lead to some extraordinary places. I felt every emotion while reading All’s Well and when I finished I was left with that slightly awed feeling of having just experienced something truly special."
The novel tells the stroy of Miranda Fitch, who is "haunted by a terrible accident that ended her acting career" and whose ambition is to stage "All's Well That Ends Well". Described in the synopsis as "brave, uncompromising and darkly funny", the novel was inspired by Awad's time in Edinburgh as a graduate and a bookseller.
Awad said: "I'm beyond thrilled for All’s Well to have found a home in the UK with the legendary Scribner and that I'll have the opportunity to work with Chris White. Set in contemporary New England, this novel has its roots deep in the UK. After all, it's a dark love letter to theater and to Shakespeare, particularly two plays; "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Macbeth", so it's especially meaningful to have a connection to British readers. As a take on "Macbeth", the book owes a great deal to Scottish lore as well as contemporary Edinburgh theatre and pub culture. I spent a year living in Edinburgh as a graduate student and bookseller, and the impressions the city made on me not only haunt these pages, but sowed the seed for the story itself."
All’s Well will publish in hardback in early 2022, with a second novel to follow in 2023.
So far Awad has sold 2,233 books for £23,098 though Nielsen BookScan's UK TCM.