Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Screen rights optioned to Hannah Kent’s ‘The Good People’

Australian production company Aquarius Films has optioned the film and TV rights to Hannah Kent’s The Good People (Picador) via Curtis Brown Australia. Aquarius producers said they were ‘absolutely thrilled to be adapting Hannah Kent’s brilliant second novel into a film’, describing her writing as ‘incredibly evocative and cinematic’. Aquarius’ recent credits include the films Lion and Berlin Syndrome. The Good People, which is based on true events, tells the stories of three women who are drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community in 19th-century Ireland. It is Kent’s second novel following her award-winning and bestselling debut Burial Rites. Kent’s Australian publisher has already acquired her next two novels.

Australian author Leife Shallcross’ novel The Beast’s Heart has been acquired by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and will be published in mid-2018. The Beast’s Heart is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale set in 17th-century France and told from the beast’s perspective. It was selected from 1445 submissions to Hodder & Stoughton’s genre fiction website Hodderscape. Hodder & Stoughton editor Thorne Ryan described Shallcross’ manuscript as her ‘absolute favourite submission’ during her time at the house. ‘It’s one of the most gorgeously written and completely absorbing books I’ve ever read,’ said Ryan.

UK publisher Transworld has acquired Commonwealth rights (ex-ANZ) to Sarah Wilson’s personal exploration of anxiety, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful (Macmillan), via Peggy Boulos Smith at Writers House. Transworld editorial director Andrea Henry said Wilson’s book looks at the ‘triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads of anxiety in a practical, poetic, wise and funny book that is part memoir, part polemic’. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful was published in Australia in March and is currently in the bestseller charts.

Other recent rights sales of Australian titles include:


  • Jane Novak Literary Agency has sold international rights to several classic novels by Australian Nobel Prize-winner Patrick White: Chinese rights to Voss, A Fringe of Leaves and The Eye of the Storm to Zhejiang Publishing; Spanish-language rights to Voss to Impedimenta; and German-language rights to The Twyborn Affair, The Eye of the Storm, A Fringe of Leaves and The Vivisector to Piper Verlag.
  • Text has sold German rights to Two Steps Forward—a novel about romance and renewal on the Camino de Santiago by husband-and-wife writing team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist—to Fischer, Dutch rights to Luitingh-Sijthoff, Canadian rights to HarperCollins Canada, UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada & ANZ) rights to Two Roads and US rights to Morrow.


For the latest Australian rights sales and acquisitions news, click here.


Category: Think Australian newsletter Rights sales