Virago Modern Classics to publish Joan Aiken

Virago Modern Classics to publish Joan Aiken

Virago Modern Classics has acquired three titles by Joan Aiken for its children’s list.
 
Senor editor Donna Coonan signed British Commonwealth rights, including Canada, in a collection of Aiken’s Armitage Family stories, her first novel and a new short-story collection from Julia Churchill at A M Heath.
 
Coonan said: “Joan Aiken is one of my favourite writers from childhood, and it is a bit of a dream to be publishing her on the Virago Modern Classics list…She has a unique voice, a wonderful dry sense of humour, and doesn’t fail to make you laugh and expand your imagination, whatever your age.”
 
The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories
brings together the tales of the eccentric and magical Armitage family, which Aiken wrote throughout her life. It is the first time they are being published in a single collection in the UK and they are described as “an absolute delight” by Coonan.
 
The Kingdom and the Cave is Aiken’s first novel, written when she was 17, which has long been out of print. Coonan calls it “an enchanting, funny adventure story, written with Aiken’s characteristic wit”. Virago Modern Classics will also publish a brand new collection of Aiken’s short stories for children.
 
Aiken’s daughter, Lizza Aiken, said of the deal: “I'm absolutely delighted about Joan being published by Virago, a publisher she always esteemed very highly, and many of whose books she enjoyed. She would be very proud to be joining some of her favourite writers.”