Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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‘The Yield’ sells to US, France

Penguin Random House Australia has sold world English-language rights (ex ANZ) to Tara June Winch’s novel The Yield to HarperCollins US imprint HarperVia, and French-language rights to Actes Sud. President and publisher of the HarperOne Group Judith Curr said of the acquisition: ‘Reading Tara June Winch’s The Yield, a story set in the stark, achingly beautiful red plains of Australia where the Wiradjuri people have resided for centuries, I knew I wanted to be the publisher who shepherded it to American readers. It brings to light one of the lesser known stories about Australia and its people, speaking to its history and, more importantly, its future.’

PRH Australia has also sold North American rights to Rachel Givney’s forthcoming novel Jane in Love to HarperCollins US imprint William Morrow. Pitched as a ‘charming, romantic, cinematic, feminist, Jane Austen time-traveling love story’, Jane in Love follows a 28-year-old Jane Austen who accidentally time-travels to modern-day Bath, England, landing on the set of one of her own film adaptations.

Black Inc. has sold UK and Commonwealth rights (ex ANZ) to Dennis Glover’s novel The Last Man in Europe—about the writing of George Orwell’s 1984—to Edinburgh-based independent publisher Polygon, after it was previously distributed in the UK by Ingram Publisher Services. Black Inc. international director Sophy Williams said the rights deal came about after a Scottish bookseller recommended the novel to Polygon, describing it as ‘the best book to be published on Orwell in many years’. ‘It’s unusual to place a title for rights after an edition has already been in the UK market, so we feel doubly chuffed,’ said Williams.

Martin Shaw of Alex Adsett Publishing Services has sold UK and Commonwealth rights to Favel Parrett’s third novel There Was Still Love (Hachette) to Hodder & Stoughton’s literary imprint Sceptre. Parrett’s first two novels—Past the Shallows and When the Night Comes (both Hachette)—were also published by the UK house. Sceptre editor Francine Toon said: ‘I’m hugely excited to be publishing Favel’s latest work, such a tender and moving portrayal of family ties that reach across space and time, written in her inimitable style.’

Text Publishing has sold Chinese-language rights to Toni Jordan’s literary mystery The Fragments—which travels between 1980s Brisbane and 1930s New York—to Beijing Fonghong.

Acquisitions

Simon & Schuster (S&S) Australia has acquired ANZ rights at auction to Kate Mildenhall’s ‘genre-busting’ second novel The Mother Fault in a two-book deal. S&S publishing director Fiona Henderson said The Mother Fault takes the next step in imagining a not-too-distant future that is terrifyingly real through the eyes of a mother pushed to extremes to save her family. Mildenhall’s debut novel Skylarking was published by Black Inc. in 2016.

Ventura Press has acquired world rights to Paul Dalgarno’s debut romantic comedy thriller Poly, pitched as ‘a deliciously frank account of the highs and lows of a married couple’s exploration of a polyamorous lifestyle’.

NewSouth Publishing has acquired world rights to Katerina Bryant’s hybrid memoir Hysteria, which explores chronic mental illness, belonging in the history of hysteria and women’s mental health throughout history. NewSouth Publishing commissioning editor Harriet McInerney said: ‘I have long admired Katerina Bryant’s courageous and clever writing, so it’s no surprise that Hysteria is a brilliant debut announcing a major new writer of literary memoir and nonfiction.’

Allen & Unwin has acquired ANZ rights to the nonfiction book Larrimah: An outback town, a missing man and 11 people, who mostly hate each other­ by journalists Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham for a six-figure sum. The publisher described Larrimah as ‘a story that has everything: a murder (or a few), a ghost town, a crocodile with no eyes, a drug lord, a long-running civil war, a comparatively short World War, and a great-grandmother with a penchant for yelling f-bombs at tourists who complain about the price of her camel pies’.

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Category: Think Australian newsletter Rights sales