Vintage to publish 'radical reworking' of Harari's Sapiens in graphic novel style

Vintage to publish 'radical reworking' of Harari's Sapiens in graphic novel style

Vintage imprint Jonathan Cape will publish series Sapiens: A Graphic History, a reworking in graphic novel style of Yuval Noah Harari's  bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. 

Published in a four-part series, it will start with Volume 1: The Birth of Humankind this autumn, written by Harari in collaboration with comics artists David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave.

Publishing director Michal Shavit acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the title. The author was represented by his International Office and Itzik Yahav.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Vintage, 2015) tells the story of how humans went from having the same significance as jellyfish 70,000 years ago to becoming rulers of the planet. 

The synopsis says: "With Yuval Noah Harari as your guide, and accompanied by a whole host of fictional, globetrotting characters including the gay Neanderthals, the all-powerful Doctor Fiction and the world’s worst-ever serial killers, you are invited to take a ride on the wild side of history. The graphic format offers readers a new intellectual and artistic exploration of the past: human evolution is reimagined as a tacky reality TV show, the first encounter between Sapiens and Neanderthals is explored through the masterpieces of modern art, and the extinction of the mammoths and saber-toothed tigers is retold as a 'whodunit' movie."

Shavit said: “Yuval Harari’s Sapiens has been entertaining and thrilling people around the world since it was first published. Here, for the first time, we have a stunning graphic novel edition that will make the perfect reading experience for adults and young adults alike, whether it’s a gift or a personal purchase. With Yuval’s signature wit, wisdom and humour, and a fabulous collaboration with co-writer David Vandermeulen and illustrator Daniel Casanave, this book will be a must have for both existing fans and for those who’ve not yet discovered the riches and joys of Sapiens.”

Harari said: "I’m very glad to be collaborating with David and Daniel on this project. Their talent and expertise will help bring the ideas of Sapiens to new audiences, with plenty of fresh twists, jokes and surprises."

Volume 1: The Birth of Humankind will be published on 12th November 2020. 

Sapiens has sold just over one million copies via Nielsen Bookscan's UK Total Consumer Market across all editions for a total of £7.7m.