Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Debut novel ‘Half Moon Lake’ sold to US, Canada

US and Canadian rights to Kirsten Alexander’s debut novel Half Moon Lake (Penguin Random House Australia, January 2019) have been sold to Hachette Book Group’s Grand Central imprint. The novel is inspired by the true story of four-year-old Bobby Dunbar, who went missing in the woods of Louisiana in the mid-1900s and, when found, was claimed by two mothers.

Allen & Unwin has sold UK rights to Heather Rose’s Stella Prize-winning novel The Museum of Modern Love to Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The novel—which is set against the backdrop of Marina Abramovic’s famous performance art piece The Artist is Present at New York’s MoMa—has already been sold in North America to Algonquin Books and in seven other translation territories.

Transit Lounge has acquired world rights to two new novels by acclaimed authors Angela Savage and Carmel Bird. Savage’s Mother of Pearl (July 2019), set in Thailand and Australia, explores a surrogacy arrangement; and Bird’s Field of Poppies (November 2019) centres on a gothic mansion in small-town Australia, and is pitched as ‘much more than the story of a tree change gone wrong’.

Simon & Schuster Australia has acquired world rights to a memoir by singer-songwriter Archie Roach (November 2019). Roach is a member of the Stolen Generations—he was forcibly removed from his family and made a ward of the state at age four—and a campaigner for the rights of First Nations People. He said he hoped his book ‘would be seen as a testament to overcoming enormous odds and to the enduring strength of the human spirit’.

Hardie Grant Books has acquired world rights to the nonfiction collection The Full Catastrophe (May 2019), in which contributors share ‘personal stories of when they were involved in a domestic drama, career cock-up or just a run-of-the-mill disaster, when events were so bad they became funny’. The collection is based on the popular podcast of the same name and edited by hosts Rebecca Huntley and Sarah MacDonald.


Category: Think Australian newsletter Rights sales