French Graphic Novel Draws Bidders
The first work in a French three-book graphic novel series, Riad Sattouf's The Arab of the Future, has caught the eye of an American publisher, among others. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt pre-empted the title in a three-book deal, taking world English rights. Marleen Seegers of 2 Seas Literary Agency controls all rights. The first book in the series was published by Allary Editions in May 2014. The book, which is being compared to Persepolis, follows a boy who, raised by a Syrian father, dreams of being a dictator. Sattouf pulls from his own life story, growing up in Libya and Syria, for the novel. In addition to the U.S. sale, deals have been made to publishers in Italy, Spain & Catalan, the Netherlands, Brazil, Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland and Turkey. A deal for Arabic rights is also pending.
Australian Historical Novel Creates Buzz
Skin, a debut novel by Australian Ilka Tampke set in 43 C.E. Britain, has been drawing international interest. Text Publishing controls all rights to the book, which follows the ancient Caer Cad people. When the tribe discovers an abandoned baby, they name her Ailia, and raise her. As an adult Ailia's allegiances are then tested when the Romans, led by emperor Claudius, invade. So far rights have been acquired in Sweden by Forum, the U.K. by Hodder & Stoughton/ UK, and in Germany by Blanvalet. Tampke is currently working on a sequel to Skin.
Brazilian Crime Thriller Finds Audience
Raphael Montes's Perfect Days, originally published by Brazilian house Companhia das Letras in March 2014, is being snapped up by publishers, as well as a film studio. The novel follows a young medical student, Teo, who develops an obsession with a woman named Clarice, who is writing a screenplay. After Clarice rejects him, Teo kidnaps her and takes her on a road trip that mimics the one she's depicting in her screenplay, titled "Strange Days." Villas-Boas & Moss Literary Agency controls rights, with the exception of Dutch and Nordic rights. Penguin has nabbed the book in the States, while Harvill Secker bought in the U.K. Other sales have closed in Germany, Italy, Canada, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Additionally, film rights have been optioned by the Brazilian production company, RT Features.
Twisty Hong Kong Crime Tale Racks Up Sales
The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei, a crime novel which originating agent Gray Tan first mentioned in our Q&A with him last year, has now sold to several foreign publishers. The book follows a detective named Kwan Chun-Dok, and is told in reverse-chronological order, with each of its six chapters focusing on a case in the detective's 46-year career. So far, sales have been made in the U.S., to Amy Hundley at Grove Atlantic, as well as in the U.K., France, Canada, Korea, Italy, with a deal pending in Japan. Chan is also the author of The Man Who Sold The World.
Cardoso Takes on Simon
Brazilian-born and Berlin-based novelist Raphael Cardoso has closed a deal for his latest novel, The Remnant, with German publisher Fischer. Cardoso, who wrote Among Women and other works of fiction and nonfiction, offers a fictional take on the life of Jewish banker and art collector Hugo Simon in the novel. Simon, who lived in Germany, who was declared an enemy of the state after Hitler rose to power; he eventually sought refuge in Brazil, where he socialized with other notable exiles, including Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig. Companhia das Letras is publishing The Remnant in Brazil, and Villas-Boas & Moss Literary Agency controls the rights to the book.