By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Niamh Parr and Emily Retford
Dialogue Wins Two Tawada Titles
Dialogue Books – an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group – has won two books at auction from award-winning author Yōko Tawada: a novel (Spontaneous Acts) and an essay collection (Exophony). Hannah Chukwu, Literary Editorial Director at Dialogue, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Daisy Chandley at Peters Fraser + Dunlop. The novel Spontaneous Acts follows main protagonist Patrik as he searches for meaning and connection in the world across time, languages, cultures and mediums, delving deep into the comforts of reading, conversation and music. The novel was written in German and has been translated into English by Susan Bernofsky, the translator of several of Tawada’s previous German novels. Spontaneous Acts is expected for publication in July 2024.
The title of Tawada’s essay collection Exophony signifies the act of writing in a language other than one’s mother tongue and is an apt non-fiction title for Tawada, who writes prolifically in both Japanese (her native language) and German (her second language). The collection discusses similar themes to Spontaneous Acts in the meaning of language and how it shapes one’s relationship to the world, with Tawada considering her own role as a Japanese author who writes across multiple languages. The essays also examine the role of language from other vantage points – including its various relationships to power, colonialism and belonging – continuing to expand Tawada’s musings on the subject and serving as a perfect scholarly companion to the author’s intricately written fiction. Exophony is currently being translated from Japanese and is expected for publication in July 2025.
404 Ink Lands Fragile Animals For 2024
Award-winning independent publisher 404 Ink has recently acquired Scottish writer Genevieve Jagger’s contemporary gothic novel. Fragile Animals follows Noelle, a hotel cleaner who struggles with her Catholic upbringing, as she meets a man who claims to be a vampire. As the relationship progresses, Noelle is confronted with her history of familial trauma and must face her developing sexuality in conflict with her religious identity. 404 Ink says that Jagger’s debut novel “bridges the gap between contemporary gothic fiction, queer fiction and magical realism,” taking readers on Noelle’s journey into Scotland’s severe environment. Jagger’s website describes her deep involvement in her literary community back home in Scotland. She tells 404 Ink that identifying as a witch and practicing tarot readings often conflicts with her Catholic upbringing, which has heavily influenced her writing. Being very open about her queer identity and her autism, Jagger praises her new alternative, independent publisher by explaining their work to boost “queer, minority and transgressive voices” is unprecedented. Fragile Animals is set to land in April 2024.
From Book to Screen
Science Fiction Mickey 17 Adaptation
Oscar-winning Parasite director Bong Joon Ho is set to write, direct and produce the upcoming adaptation of Mickey 17 written by Edward Ashton. Warner Bro Pictures is to release the upcoming science fiction film and boasts an exclusive cast starring Robert Pattinson, Mark Ruffalo, Steven Yuen, Naomi Ackie and Toni Collette. The story revolves around Mickey, a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonise the ice world Niflheim. When there is trouble, one iteration dies and a new body is regenerated with most of his memories unaltered. Currently, the adaptation is still in pre-production, but Mickey 17 is expected to be out in March 2024.
Amazon MGM snapped up the rights to Fourth Wing
Amazon MGM Studios alongside Outlier Society have acquired the film rights to the bestselling YA fantasy series The Empyrean. Fourth Wing, the first book in the series by Rebecca Yarros, has sold millions of copies worldwide and was recently followed by Iron Flame. They are currently developing the first novel as a television series. If successful, more of the series will be developed as it is published. Fourth Wing follows Violet Sorrengail, the scholarly daughter of a general who is ordered to enter the Riders Quadrant at Basgiath War College. There, she must adapt to survive in a place where few make it to the end of the year and dragons aren’t the only things trying to kill you. Under the command of the magnetic Xaden Riorson, Violet must determine friend from foe in order to make it to Threshing – a ceremony where dragons choose their riders. Liz Raposo, Rebecca Yarros and Liz Pelletier are set to be executive producers of the series. There is currently no date set for the release of the first series. We anxiously await news of this project.