W&N triumphs in three-way auction to win Tiffany McDaniel 'masterpiece'

W&N triumphs in three-way auction to win Tiffany McDaniel 'masterpiece'

Weidenfeld & Nicolson editorial director Federico Andornino has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to the follow-up novel from the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize-winner Tiffany McDaniel, which was inspired by the author's family histories.

Andornino bought rights in a three-way auction for Betty, in a deal struck by Suzanne Smith at Knopf, which will publish the title in the US. Betty has been announced as one of only six titles across fiction and non-fiction selected for the Book Expo America’s Adult Buzz Panel. 

Betty follows the titular character who was "born in a bathtub in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, the sixth of eight siblings". Betty encounters a world of poverty and violence "outside the family and also, devastatingly, from within. When her family's darkest secrets are brought to light, Betty has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills".   

Andornino said: "Betty is the kind of novel editors (and readers) dream of: full of the magic of words and populated with characters who transcend the page to become beloved friends. I am in awe of Tiffany’s talent: by creating the character of Betty she has done so much more than simply introduce us all to a new American hero—she has breathed new life in the act of storytelling itself."

Ohio native McDaniel's début novel The Summer That Melted Everything, won the 2016 Not the Booker, and was published in the UK by Scribe. Her first book was set, as is Betty, in the fictional town of Breathed, Ohio, and is loosely inspired by generations of storytellers in McDaniel’s family and her grandfather’s ancestors. McDanilel said: "Though [my grandfather] died over a decade before I was born, he continued to live in the stories my mother told me and in the books she gave me on Native American myths and legends, overlapping those with the stories her father had given her about his Cherokee ancestors and the lives they had lived."