Concentration Camp Memoir Goes Global
Peter Blackstock of Grove/Atlantic has acquired world English rights to Marceline Loridan-Ivens's And You Didn't Come Back, a current bestselling memoir in France. She and her father were sent to concentration camps in 1944--she to Birkenau, and he to Auschwitz. He died in the camp. Written as a letter to her father, the book is about her experiences in the camp, and her ensuing life. Published by French house Grasset (which controls all rights), the memoir has been selling briskly throughout the world, with deals having closed in, among other countries, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Italy. The author, born in 1928, is an actress (having appeared in such projects as the French New Wave film Chronicle of a Summer) who also made a number of documentaries with her husband, Joris Ivens.
Korean Bestseller Finds a Home in the UK
Human Acts by Korean author Han Kang (The Vegetarian) has recently sold to Max Porter at U.K.-based Portobello Books/Granta, who took world English rights and plans to publish in January 2016. The book was the winner of Korea's Manhae Literary Prize, and was originally published by Changbi; rights have sold in China, Vietnam and Taiwan. Barbara Zitwer of the Barbara Zitwer Agency is handling all foreign sales, and added that the title was the top-selling book in Korea for 2014. Zitwer said the book is about "one massacre at Gwanju and all massacres through history, and today."
American's YA Debut Sells in Germany, Ahead of States
See You in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan, a debut YA novel by Jack Cheng, has been pre-empted in Germany prior to an English-language deal. CBT Verlag will publish the book as its lead middle grade novel in fall 2016. Jessica Craig at Pontas Literary & Film Agency represents the author (who was born in China and now lives in Michigan), while Marina Penalva, also at Pontas, is handling foreign rights. In the book, 11-year-old Alex Petroski lives with his mom and dog, Carl Sagan, in Colorado. Alex, whose father died three years ago and whose brother now lives in L.A., knows everything about his hero, the astronomer Carl Sagan. Hoping to follow in Sagan's footsteps, Alex has decided to launch his brother's old iPod into space with the intention that extraterrestrials will hear the music downloaded on it. Cheng is the author of the self-published novel, These Days.
Posthumous Novel from Iranian Musician Draws Buzz
Golden Years, a highly autobiographical novel by Iranian punk rocker Ali Eskandarian, has gotten people talking. The book was originally written in English while the author was living in Brooklyn, and was in the editing process when Eskandarian was killed in a shooting. Oscar van Gelderen of the Dutch publishing house Lebowski, and Italy-based literary agent Vicki Satlow, were working with Eskandarian on the book, when he died. The novel explores a modern immigrant experience--rife with sex, drugs and rock and roll--as a group of Iranian artists settle in New York. Lebowski acquired world rights from the author's estate and published the book in the Netherlands in August. Thus far, sales have closed in the U.K., Spain and Germany.
Spanish Novel Lands Two English-Language Deals
Pontas Literary & Film Agency is announcing two English language deals for Cristina Sánchez-Andrade's The Winterlings. Australian publisher Scribe has acquired world English rights, save the U.S. and Canada, while Restless Books took North American rights. Originally published by Spanish house Anagrama, deals have also been made with publishers in Brazil, Germany, Poland, and Italy. In the novel, which is set in the 1950s and combines fictional and historical events, two sisters return to their small town in southwestern Spain. The women, according to the Pontas Agency, are "united by a very dark incident committed in the past, and by their passion for film and the lives of the Hollywood artists."