Novel by psychologist and table tennis champion has deals in 20 territories
Francine Toon, commissioning editor at Sceptre, struck a pre-emptive deal to sign Danish novel Agathe (provisional title) by Anne Cathrine Bomann. Sceptre has world English rights from Lena Stjernstrom at Grand Agency. The debut, originally published by a small independent publisher in Denmark, has sold in 20 territories. The author is a psychologist and 12-times Danish table tennis champion.
Agathe is set in France in 1948, and tells the story of an unnamed psychiatrist who, at 71, is counting down the days to his retirement. He is reluctant to take on a new client, but a young German woman called Agathe persuades him to talk to her and tackle her longstanding and severe mental health issues. As they begin to unravel the mystery of her life and the darkness that lies at its centre, their discussions give the doctor a new way of looking at the world.
Toon said: "I fell for this novel from its opening pages, with its unlikely pairing of a reclusive old psychiatrist and a fascinating, but mentally troubled woman trying to find her way in the world. We've seen that the appetite for translated fiction is bigger than ever and so Agathe seemed like the perfect book to publish: beautiful and heart-warming, but with a dark emotional streak."
Bomann said: "I am very excited about the prospect of being published by Sceptre among so many authors that I truly admire. Getting my book translated into English is a big step for me, and I almost can't believe my luck!"