Viking has won a five-way auction for a debut novel about British explorer George Mallory's final doomed attempt to be the first to scale Mount Everest.
Viking publishing director Venetia Butterfield won the auction, which followed attempts by two publishers to pre-empt being refused and went to three rounds, acquiring UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to Above All Things by Tanis Rideout. Viking will publish in spring 2013.
Butterfield said: "Above All Things is beautifully written, compelling and heartbreaking. At its heart it is a love story with extraordinary emotional resonance." The book follows Mallory on this third attempt, in 1924, to scale Everest, ending with his disappearance on the mountain's north-east ridge. The novel also follows his wife Ruth as she waits at home for news.
The novel will also be published by Amy Einhorn books in the US and McClelland & Stewart in Canada.
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