Vintage is to publish the second instalment of Sapiens: A Graphic History, the graphic novel series co-written by Yuval Noah Harari and David Vandermeulen with illustrations by Daniel Casanave, with Volume 2 – The Pillars of Civilisation due in October.
The series offers “a beautifully illustrated graphic history of humankind” based on the internationally bestselling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Vintage), which has sold 1.1 million units in all UK print editions for £8.1m since publication in 2015, according to Nielsen BookScan, triggering a trend in the “brainy backlist".
The graphic novel series, which is expected to be published in five volumes, was launched in autumn 2020 with Volume 1 - The Birth of Humankind, focusing on the “Cognitive Revolution”. Volume 2 will be published on 14th October and can be read as a standalone or as a follow-up.
The new instalment sees Harari travel “the length and breadth of human history to investigate how the Agricultural Revolution changed society forever”, Vintage said. “Readers discover how wheat took over the world, how war, famine, disease and inequality became a part of the human condition, and why we might only have ourselves to blame.
“The origins of modern farming are told through Elizabethan tragedy, the changing fortunes of domesticated plants and animals are tracked in the columns of the Daily Business News, and the history of inequality is revealed in a superhero detective story.”
Michal Shavit, publishing director of imprint Jonathan Cape at Vintage, said: “Yuval Harari never ceases to amaze, inspire and entertain his readers and this new book in the Sapiens: A Graphic History series doesn’t disappoint. In this beautiful, illustrated edition, with its focus on the Agricultural Revolution, we are thrown into a world of technological innovation, societal upheaval and the unintended consequences that accompany such seismic change. A treasure for young and old alike.’
Harari, who is also professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 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."
Vandermeulen, a Belgian author and illustrator based in Brussels, said: "Thanks to the existence of graphic novels, Yuval Noah Harari’s ideas will appear even clearer. Working with Yuval on this great text is a challenge and an honor."
Casanave, a French artist living in Reims, commented: “Rejoining my dear long-time collaborator David, in the service of Yuval's ideas, is a truly awesome adventure. Using my pens and pencils to illustrate the major work that is Sapiens is a privilege and a delight."