William Collins snaps up psychiatrist's tale

William Collins snaps up psychiatrist's tale

William Collins has acquired another book from the author of The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu, Charlie English, about a psychiatrist whose collection of mental patients’ art inspired the Modernist movement.

Publishing director at the HarperCollins imprint, Arabella Pike, bought UK rights to The Gallery of Miracles and Madness from Felicity Rubinstein. Hilary Redmon at Random House bought US rights from Stuart Krichevsky at the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency at auction. It will be published in 2020.

The narrative history from the former foreign editor at the Guardian, The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, is the first book in English to follow the parallel stories of Hans Prinzhorn, an early 20th century psychiatrist and aesthete, whose collection of mental patients’ art inspired the Modernist movement, and of Adolf Hitler’s crusade against this work, including the ‘Degenerate Art’ show of 1938, which culminated in the first mass murder of the Holocaust – the gassing of thousands of mental patients.

The Gallery of Miracles and Madness follows English's The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu, published by William Collins in May, which explored how librarians saved Timbuktu’s most precious cultural artefacts from destruction during Mali’s civil war

Pike said: “We are so excited to be publishing this new book by Charlie English – a key title for us. Madness lies at the book’s heart – that of Hitler and his barbarous regime as well as the psychiatric patients whose raw and powerful work has survived to inspire the world again. It will shed new light on Hitler, the Nazi project and the war on culture.”

Foreign rights are still available, contact Juliet Mahony at Lutyens & Rubinstein for more information on juliet@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk.