Little, Brown has acquired two books by journalist Francesca Hornak for a "significant" five-figure sum.
Emma Beswetherick, associate publisher of Piatkus Fiction at Little, Brown, bought world rights to the titles from Olivia Guest at Jonathan Clowes Ltd.
Hornak is well known for her Sunday Times column 'History Of The World In 100 Modern Objects', and she has transferred her "relevant, observational humour" to her debut novel Seven Days of Us, which Piatkus will be publishing in hardback in autumn 2017.
For fans of David Nicholls, Seven Days of Us is a "funny, tender, sometimes shocking but ultimately heart-warming family drama", the publisher said. It tells the story of a family forced to endure a seven-day quarantine over Christmas, after their elder daughter returns from Africa where she has been in contact with a life-threatening virus.
Beswetherick said: "Christmas with family is a time we all look forward to, but to spend more than a few days in each other’s pockets can be enough to drive even the sanest of families a little crazy. And beneath this very relatable concept is a gorgeously written, page-turning narrative with characters for every age of reader to befriend. It’s a story that has melted everyone’s hearts at Little, Brown already and we are all incredibly excited to be publishing for Christmas next year."