John Murray Press imprint Two Roads has acquired Girl Runner, a debut novel from Carrie Snyder.
Publisher Lisa Highton signed UK rights from Gillian Fizet at House of Anansi Press.
US rights were pre-empted by Claire Watchel at HarperCollins.
The book follows Aganetha Smart, a pioneering Olympic athlete who competed in the 1920s, but is now living in a nursing home at the age of 104, alone and forgotten.
When two strangers arrive and take her out of the home, she is forced to confront her own secrets and difficult life choices.
Highton said: "Girl Runner is a brilliantly evocative story of time and place with an unforgettable heroine." Snyder, who lives in Ontario, Canada, has previously written two collections of short stories.
Two Roads will release Girl Runner in spring 2015, at the same time as the US.