Two divisions of Random House that exist across the pond from each other are launching a fiction imprint that will share a close but non-exclusive editorial relationship. The Crown Publishing Group in the U.S. and Chatto & Windus, an imprint of Vintage Publishing, which is a division of The Random House Group in the U.K., announced the creation of Hogarth today. The imprint will focus on “contemporary, voice-driven, character-rich stories that entertain, inform, and move readers.”

Molly Stern, senior v-p, publisher of Crown, will lead the imprint in the U.S. (Stern left Penguin for Crown with a bit of drama last summer). Clara Farmer, publishing director, Chatto & Windus, will lead the U.K. imprint. Hogarth, which was named after Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press (founded in 1917), will release its first titles in summer 2012.

In the U.S., Hogarth will publish between eight and 10 fiction titles each year. In the U.K., it will publish a smaller list, made up entirely of books that are also published by Hogarth in the U.S. The “sister imprints,” as Random is calling them, will have “a close, but non-exclusive, editorial relationship.” They will also collaborate in developing promotional plans for shared publications.

Among the lead titles on Hogarth’s inaugural list in both territories will be I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits, originally acquired by Crown’s Lindsay Sagnette from Scott Moyers of the Wylie Agency. It is an English-language debut that offers a look inside the world of the Satmar, the most insular and fundamentalist of Hasidic sects. Another lead title is The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, acquired by Becky Hardie at Chatto from Arabella Stein on behalf of Nicole Aragi. It is set in contemporary Kandahar and involves an Afghan woman who approaches an American military base to demand the return of her brother’s body. Also on the summer 2012 list in the U.S. is The Dead Do Not Improve by Jay Caspian Kang.

Stern said Hogarth’s books “will be editorially distinct from, and complementary to, the kind of fiction that Crown has traditionally published.” She classified Hogarth titles as “worldly, provocative, and well written works for a broad and lasting readership.” In the U.S., Hogarth books will be commissioned by Stern as well as senior editor Lindsay Sagnette and editor Zachary Wagman. In the U.K., Hogarth books will be commissioned by Farmer along with editorial director Becky Hardie and senior editor Poppy Hampson.

All Hogarth titles will be published in print and digital editions.