Scribner has bought a trio of non-fiction titles including a playwright’s autobiography, the memoir of a young beekeeper and a journey into the properties of ice.
The Simon & Schuster imprint's associate publisher Rowan Cope inked the deal on all three titles and said they “demonstrate the vibrancy of British narrative non-fiction at the moment”. The news comes four months after Cope was promoted from editorial director.
Cope acquired UK and Commonwealth rights of The Berlin Shadow by Jonathan Lichtenstein from Jonathan Conway of the Jonathan Conway Literary Agency in a pre-empt, for hardback publication in early 2019. It is an “audacious and deeply moving memoir” told in three time-frames featuring the escape of the writer’s father from Berlin to Britain in 1938, Lichtenstein’s upbringing in rural Wales and the journey the pair take to present-day Berlin.
A Honeybee Heart has Five Openings: a Year of Keeping Bees by Helen Jukes features an insight into the life of an apiarist and is likened to Helen Macdonald and Robert Macfarlane. It explores how after feeling trapped in the “urban grind of office politics and temporary addresses” a colony of honeybees “plunged her into the life of the hive”. Cope acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates with hardback publication due in summer 2018.
The Library of Ice by Nancy Campbell is a “vivid and perspective book” about the resource which combines memoir with scientific and cultural history. The poet and writer spans the northern reaches of Greenland and the British Museum via the ice houses of Calcutta and the ice hockey rinks of the Middle East as well as offering insights into Artic communities and European archives of ice.
A spokesperson said: “The Library of Ice evokes the interplay of people and their environment on a fragile planet, and a writer’s quest to define the value of her work in a disappearing landscape.”
Cope acquired world English language rights from Kirsty McLachlan at David Godwin Associates, and it is due to be published in hardback in late 2018.
Cope said: “All of us here are delighted to welcome Nancy Campbell, Helen Jukes and Jonathan Lichtenstein to Scribner. These three multi-talented and innovative non-fiction writers, each with a unique and captivating story to tell, demonstrate the vibrancy of British narrative non-fiction writing at the moment.
"[They also show the] power of the personal narrative to illuminate issues – such as the trauma of displacement or the environmental crises we face – that can have deep resonance and urgency for us all.”
She added: “I am very excited that they and their books will be part of the growing Scribner list.”
Cope joined from Little, Brown in 2014 to acquire fiction and non-fiction, was tasked with developing the official launch of Scribner's new list in April 2015 and is said to have helped it "to grow rapidly and successfully".