Orenda Books has signed bestselling Norwegian author Helga Flatland in a pre-empt ahead of London Book Fair.
Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, acquired world English language rights for Flatland’s A Modern Family, in a two-book deal negotiated with Annette Orre of the Oslo Literary Agency.
A "stunningly beautiful", emotive and character-driven piece of literary fiction, A Modern Family focuses on the reactions of a set of grown-up children, who hear that their 70-year-old parents are divorcing. "With the exquisite narrative clarity of an Anne Tyler novel, this gently melancholic, compelling, funny, moving and affectionate novel has won countless awards in Helga Flatland’s Norwegian homeland and has an undoubtedly universal appeal", said the publisher.
Sullivan said she was "utterly thrilled" to publish Flatland, who had been on her radar for "quite some time".
She added: "Her flawless writing, extraordinary ability to dissect and explore emotions, and her startling, deeply moving and accurate insights into relationships and our own fragilities are both memorable and possibly unsurpassed. A Modern Family does not just have immense literary merit; its beauty and truth ring out from the very first page. Helga is a perfect fit for the Orenda list, and bringing this book to the English-reading world is an absolute honour."
Orre praised Orenda's "infectious energy" and said she had wanted to work with Sullivan for a long time.
"Helga Flatland has won the hearts of Norwegian booksellers, readers and critics alike, and her first Swedish review was just in, stating that A Modern Family provides an 'unusually insightful and psychologically emphatic portrait of a family on the verge of breakdown'," she added.
Flatland said entering the English language market was a "milestone for any international author", adding: "I cannot wait to come visit and meet new readers."
A Modern Family will be published in late Spring 2019 by Orenda Books. The title will be translated into English by Rosie Hedger.