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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Niamh Parr and Emily Retford

Acquisition News

Harvill Secker Wins Auction for Inaba Translation

Harvill Secker, a Penguin imprint with a focus on international literature, has won a nine-way auction for the English translation of Mayumi Inaba’s Mornings With My Cat Mii. The novel has been translated from its original Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori, who has previously translated other prize-winning Japanese novels such as Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman. Ellie Steel, Senior Editor at Harvill Secker, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Li Kangqin at New River Literary Agency on behalf of Kohei Hattori at the English Agency Japan and Kawade Shobo Shinsha.

Mornings With My Cat Mii follows the bond between Inaba and her cat Mii across twenty years of companionship, beginning with Inaba’s rescue of Mii as a kitten abandoned by the side of a riverbank in Tokyo. With Mii growing alongside Inaba as she builds her life and career as a writer, the novel is a meditation on joy, solitude and love, and is ultimately an ode to how a cat can change one’s life. Mayumi Inaba was a prize-winning writer and poet. She won the notable Tanizaki Prize in 2011 for her memoir To the Peninsula (半島へ) and passed away in 2014. Mornings With My Cat Mii will be published in the UK in October 2024.

Faber Lands Sally Rooney’s Fourth Novel Intermezzo

Bestselling author of previous novels Conversations with Friends, Normal People and Beautiful World, Where Are You Sally Rooney is planning to release her fourth novel with Faber, and it is tipped to be one of the biggest novels of the year (The Bookseller). Titled Intermezzo, Rooney’s novel is a story about Ivan and Peter Koubek, and their familial and romantic relationships that traverse beyond conventional forms. The two are brothers and their similarities end there. Peter is a confident and successful lawyer, who is trying to balance his ongoing relationships with two very different women, enduring lover Sylvia and fun student Naomi. Whereas Ivan, who is a lonely competitive chess player, struggles to socialise and live up to expectations set by his brother, and one day meets Margaret, an older and experienced woman. Both men, significantly impacted by their father’s recent death, try to navigate and find love in turbulent and complicated relationships whilst on an intense journey of grief and desire.

Publisher Alex Bowler acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Intermezzo from Wylie Agency. Bowler comments that Rooney’s new novel is full of her usual “beauty and insight” and “radiates” with “pain and hope”  that is attuned to modern life (The Guardian). Bookselling companies reacted positively to the new release news, with Olivia Rosenthall at Maldon Books commenting that Rooney creates “unique and flawed characters” that readers relate so well to (The Bookseller). It’s no wonder that Rooney’s bestseller Normal People, has sales of £6.8 million, and if that’s anything to go by, Intermezzo is sure to be another brilliant novel. Intermezzo will be published by Faber on 24 September 2024. Furthermore, Knopf will publish in Canada, whilst Straus & Giroux will publish in the US.

From Book to Screen

What to Watch?

Shōgun Historical Drama on Hulu

Shōgun, the highly anticipated adaptation premiered on Hulu and FX on February 27, promises an enthralling journey into feudal Japan. Based on James Clavell's bestselling novel, the series follows English sailor John Blackthorne, where he becomes embroiled in political intrigue and cultural clashes with Lord Toranaga, a powerful lord navigating his own political feuds along with Lady Mariko in 17th century Japan. The series features an extensive Japanese cast, including Hiroyuki Sanada, Moeka Hoshi and Hiroto Kanai, and delivers a rich background of characters against the backdrop of warfare and the clash of East and West. With stunning visuals and compelling storyline, this series is set to captivate audiences with its blend of history, drama and adventure. Catch the first two episodes out now.

In the Works

Babel Optioned for Screen Adaptation 

The rights for R F Kuang’s bestselling fantasy novel have been optioned for a television or film adaptation by the independent studio Wiip, set to be produced by Temple Hill Entertainment. Wiip are the team behind projects such as Mare of Easttown and The Summer I Turned Pretty. Temple Hill Entertainment has produced films such as Twilight, The Fault in Our Stars, and Happiest Season. Babel rose in popularity back in 2022, going on to win the British Book Award for Best Fiction and receive a nomination for the Goodreads’ Choice Award for Fantasy. Set in a reimagined early 19th century Oxford, Babel follows Robin Swift, an orphan brought from Canton to London to train for Oxford's Royal Institute of Translation (also known as Babel), where magic and translation empower the British Empire's colonisation. Torn between loyalty to Babel and his native China, Robin faces a critical choice regarding his allegiance. Kuang demonstrated her excitement for the project saying “it felt like [Wiip and Temple Hill Entertainment] were truly dedicated to creating a translation that adds to the story through the unique qualities of a different art form” (Deadline).



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