Selling into 20 territories in under two weeks, with 6 territories currently under offer, we’re pretty sure this is an industry record within the time frame. It’s certainly a hugely thrilling first for the MM Agency.
The excitement started when Maxine Hitchcock, Publishing Director at Penguin Random House’s imprint Michael Joseph, snapped up UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in a substantial two-book deal. Hitchcock commented:
“Ashley has the most spectacular voice. I felt almost hypnotised by it, chilled by its beauty as she gives us glimpses of a daydream and a nightmare all at once. The opening scene has the hallmarks of a classic and is only matched by the closing one. But this isn’t a book about twists and turns, though it has many – it’s a simply sensational story powerfully told with characters who hold up an uncomfortable mirror to ourselves. The Push has all the ingredients of a classic, a book to set the agenda and provoke much discussion and heated debate.”
Not long after the UK deal was agreed, the US rights were pre-empted by Penguin / Viking / Pamela Dorman Books, in another substantial deal. Meanwhile Penguin Canada pre-empted at a record-breaking level for the Agency.
All three publishers in the Penguin Random House family will be aiming for a simultaneous publication in early 2021.
The novel has proved to be an instant success internationally, too. 17 translation deals have been finalised in under two weeks, the majority handled directly by the MM Agency foreign rights department. These include Catalan, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portuguese (EU), Portuguese (SA), Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.
The novel is currently under offer in 6 territories: Arabic, Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbian and Simplified Chinese.
We really couldn’t be more excited for Ashley, or for the readers around the world who will be given the chance to read this unforgettable debut.
The Push has been compared to We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, and follows the story of Blythe, who is desperate not to follow in the footsteps of her mother or grandmother. It explores themes of motherhood, mental illness and nature versus nurture.
Ashley Audrain wrote The Push after leaving her job as publicity director at Penguin Books Canada to raise her two young children. Prior to Penguin, she lived and worked in Los Angeles, and at a global public relations agency in Toronto, where she now lives. She gave an interview for the Toronto Star which was published today. You can read it here.
The news was also announced in The Bookseller.