July 30 – August 6, 2009 Edition

Spiegel and Grau Acquire Next Yan Martel Novel

Publisher Cindy Spiegel of Spiegel & Grau has acquired Yann Martel’s next novel after Life of Pi, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002 and went on to be published in 44 countries and become an international bestseller, selling 2 million copies in the U.S. alone.

The yet-to-be-titled novel is a mesmerizing and brilliant exploration of the limitations of language in understanding and describing the horrors of the Holocaust. Heartbreaking and wildly imaginative, it defies conventions, mixing genres, from the short story, the essay, the play, and the novel. Like Life of Pi, it will elicit endless discussion about man’s relationship to animals and the stories we tell ourselves in order to ignore the evils we would rather not confront. Cindy Spiegel said upon reading the manuscript that “it has the feel of a classic. I felt as if I were discovering a Beckett or a Nabokov today. It’s a book that addresses a topic that’s been written about many, many times but feels profoundly original. Like the most enduring books, it asks big questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity.”

Toronto-based agent Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists brokered the deal. British rights have been sold to Canongate Books and Canadian rights to Alfred A. Knopf Canada, as well as rights to publishers in Australia, New Zealand and Germany.

Spiegel & Grau is an imprint of Random House in the US.