The sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris will be published in October.
Zaffre, the flagship adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, said Cilka’s Journey will be published this October in hardback, e-book and audio.
“The story centres on Cilka Klein, one of the key characters from The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the teenage girl who saved Tattooist Lale Sokolov’s life,” said Zaffre. “Sokolov told Heather that Cilka was ‘the bravest person’ he ever met. ‘Not the bravest girl,’ he insisted, ‘the bravest person.’”
According to Morris, whenever she talks about The Tattooist, and in almost all of the thousands of letters and emails she receives from readers, “people want to know what happened to Cilka”. Selected on her arrival at Auschwitz by the commandant of Birkenau because of her beautiful long hair the 16-year-old was forced to become his sex slave. On liberation, and still only 19, she was charged by the Russians as a collaborator.
"Once again, Klein found herself on a prison train, this time destined for the Siberian gulags. Once again, she was made to strip and wait, naked, in the snow. And once again, a guard looks at her too long…,” the blurb reads. “But what Cilka cannot imagine in the midst of such darkness are the endless resources she will find within herself – or how finding love will keep her alive.”
Morris said: “I too wanted to find out more about this extraordinary young woman. So I have decided to honour Cilka by using her life as the inspiration for this novel, a sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. It is a privilege to bring this story of incredible courage, passion and the triumph of the human spirit, to life, in Cilka’s Journey.”
Kate Parkin, managing director of adult trade publishing said: “With The Tattooist of Auschwitz riding the top of the bestsellers charts for over a year, and the unprecedented reader response it has generated, we are incredibly proud to announce publication of its sequel. Cilka’s Journey will once again showcase Heather Morris’s powerful storytelling in an inspirational tale of hope and survival against the odds.”
The sequel announcement comes as The Tattooist of Auschwitz returns to the UK Official Top 50 number one spot for a third non-consecutive week, selling 15,369 copies through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market.