After an auction between six publishers, two novels from Kate Riordan were signed by Penguin division Michael Joseph for a six-figure sum.
The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis is the story of Hanna, a 15-year-old Jewish girl of Riga, whose life is turned upside down when her father is taken away by Soviet forces. Hanna and her family move to a ghetto with 30,000 others and endure starvation, forced labour and imprisonment.
Lila, new from Marilynne Robinson, is based on the same world as her previous novels [Pulitzer-winning] Gilead and [Orange Prize-winning] Home. Lila is the wife of character John Ames, and Robinson’s new novel will tell her story. Robinson has also won the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel with her 1981 title Housekeeping.
What She Left is the debut psychological thriller by TR Richmond, predicted by its publisher Rowland White of Michael Joseph to join the ranks of Gone Girl as a book that would capture the reading public’s imagination. The book follows a young woman, revealed through the trail she leaves behind.
Richmond said: “Each of us leaves a trail nowadays more than at any point in history—whether it’s handwritten letters, comments on Facebook, our school reports or our Twitter stream. I wanted to write a book with a contemporary young woman at its heart, but reassemble her story, jigsaw puzzle-like, through her trail.”
The hardback will be published in spring 2015.
MP Nadine Dorries has signed a six-figure deal for three novels. The first, The Four Streets, is the first in an autobiographical trilogy of novels set in 1950s Liverpool around Irish Catholic families struggling against poverty, hardship and abuse. The Four Streets will be published as hardback and e-book in April 2014.
The Bees is the debut novel by British playwright Laline Paull.