Scribner is to publish The Decameron Project, an anthology of 29 stories about a modern plague, written by authors including Margaret Atwood, Andrew O’Hagan, Colm Tóibín, Kamila Shamsie, Rachel Kushner and David Mitchell.
Chris White, editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company. The stories were specially commissioned by the New York Times in March.
Described as a "Covid-Age" anthology, the collection is based on a reworking of Giovanni Boccacio's 1353 work The Decameron, which comprises 100 tales documenting the lives of a group of people passing the time at a villa outside Florence, while waiting out the Black Death.
Commenting on the acquisition, White said: "Like Boccaccio’s great work, these are stories of ordinary people living in tumultuous times. We need fiction to make sense of the incomprehensible and with such an extraordinary assembly of talent, The Decameron Project is essential reading, providing, as it does, understanding and consolation at the end of this most momentous year."
Scribner will publish in hardback on 10th November.