Myriad Editions has signed a “stunning” novelisation of the love affair between Simone de Beauvoir and American writer Nelson Algren.
Fiction editor Holly Ainley bought UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, to Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago by Chicago-born author Douglas Cowie, from agent Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock.
De Beauvoir previously fictionalised her relationship with Algren in her 1954 novel The Mandarins.
Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago begins when de Beauvoir calls up Algren during her visit to Chicago in February 1947. Algren takes de Beauvoir on a whirlwind tour of his city at night, visiting dive bars, seedy cabarets, and the police lock-up. When the pair return to his apartment on Wabansia Avenue, a passion is sparked that will last for the next two decades.
Reimagining the couple’s passionate affair, Cowie takes readers on a “journey that explores what it means to love and be loved by the right person at the wrong time”.
Ainley said: “Prepare to be swept away by this intoxicating, unconventional love story.
“Spanning the 1940s to the 1960s, the action moves effortlessly between de Beauvoir’s intellectual circle in Paris and the gritty characters and streets of Algren’s Chicago.
“Cowie’s authentic and intimate portrayal of these two literary luminaries is testament to his meticulous research. Readers and booksellers will love the way the novel taps into the current fascination for fictional stories featuring real historical characters, such as Naomi Wood’s Mrs Hemingway and Liza Klaussmann’s Villa America.”
Myriad will publish Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago in June 2016.