North Korean Collection Sells to Grove
Peter Blackstock at Grove Atlantic bought North American rights to The Accusation, a short story collection by a North Korean writer published after the work was smuggled out of the country. The author uses the pseudonym Bandi, and the book was initially published by the South Korean house Chogabje in 2014. Barbara Zitwer, who has an eponymous agency, is handling rights on behalf of Chogabje. In addition to the U.S. sale, the book has been acquired in the U.K. (where Serpent’s Tail/Profile nabbed U.K. and Commonwealth rights); France (Éditions Philippe Picquier); and Spain (Libros del Asteroide). Zitwer also confirmed that offers on the book were in from a number of other territories, including the Netherlands and Germany. The collection follows a range of characters as it paints a portrait of daily life under a dictatorship. Zitwer added that the book is the first known work of fiction by a North Korean to make it out of the closed country.
Italian Debut Making International Splash
The Secret of Montmartre's Flowers by Donatella Rizzati has been drawing interest from a number of foreign publishers. Laura Ceccacci, who has an eponymous literary agency, has already closed foreign rights deals for the title with Goldmann in Germany (after a five way auction), and Xander in the Netherlands. Set to be released by Italian house Mondadori in the spring, the novel follows a young doctor named Viola who travels to Paris after her husband dies. Rizzati is a translator of English and French novels for Italian editors.
French Crime Novel Moves to Spain
Mala Vida by Marc Fernandez, originally published in France by Preludes Editions, has sold to Salamandra in Spain, at auction. Rights were handled by Marleen Seegers of 2 Seas Agency. The novel, which was released in France in September, is set in modern-day Spain and follows a series of murders that are being committed across the country. When a radio journalist decides to look into the killing spree, he stumbles on to a national scandal.
Argentinean Thriller Gaining Buzz
The first book in a new series, The Dagger, has been gaining notice for its growing popularity in Argentina. Written by Jorge Fernandez Diaz, the novel follows Remil, a former soldier who now works as a secret government agent and is assigned to be the bodyguard for the lover of a Spanish narco. Published in Argentina by Planeta in 2014, the novel has sold over 85,000 copies there to date. Spanish Agency Casanovas y Lynch controls all foreign rights for The Dagger and, thus far, it has sold the book to Actes Sud (France) and Globo (Brazil). In addition to publishing the book in Argentina, Planeta also published the book in Spain. A film adaptation is in the works with Marcelo Piñeyro (The Method) directing.