Simon & Schuster Children’s UK has won Liz Kessler's “powerful” Holocaust novel Chasing the Light at auction.
Fiction editorial director Jane Griffiths, editorial director Simon Pulse, and vice-president Liesa Admas, acquired world English language rights at auction from Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates. Publication is scheduled for a major global launch in 2021.
"Set against the backdrop of the gathering darkness of 1930s Europe as Nazism took hold, Chasing the Light is a powerful and heartbreaking novel about Leo, Elsa and Max, three childhood friends whose fates are closely intertwined, even as their lives take very different courses," reads the synopsis. "Chasing the Light is a very personal story for author Liz Kessler, based on a true event in her own family’s history. It explores the idea that small kindnesses and deep friendships can make all the difference in the world, even during the most harrowing of times."
Kessler said: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining Simon & Schuster. This book feels like the most personal and the most important thing I have done and it couldn’t be in better hands."
Griffiths added: "Through Leo, Elsa and Max’s experiences, Liz Kessler brings home the incomprehensible scale of the horrors of the Nazi regime whilst never allowing readers to lose sight of the bonds of love, family and friendship that allowed glimmers of hope to flourish. It is in no way an overstatement to say this feels like the novel that Liz was born to write and it’s a privilege to publish such an important and extraordinary book."
S&S Children’s UK m.d. Rachel Denwood said: "We’re truly honoured to bring an author of Liz’s calibre and track record to S&S–especially with such an astonishing and inspirational novel. This book has sparked many passionate conversations with our US colleagues and it will be a global priority for us next year."