The Bookseller – Rights – Orion Fiction Unveils Harris’ First Standalone Novel in 15 Years

Orion Fiction has unveiled the first standalone novel by Joanne Harris in 15 years, broken lighta “bold and timely exploration of how invisible women can feel as they age and what happens when they try to regain control”.

Sarah Benton has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Jon Wood from RCW, for publication in May 2023 as the first novel in a six-figure four-book deal brokered earlier this year. Harris’ last stand-alone novel was coastalpublished by Transworld in 2010.

The editor describes broken light as “part thriller, part coming-of-age drama” and “a story of growth and redemption, revenge and visibility, friendship and self-discovery”. It tells the story of Bernie Moon, whose own ambitions and dreams have been forgotten by everyone, including Bernie herself. At 19, she was full of promise, but now that she’s 50 and going through menopause, she’s a fading light until the murder of a woman in a local park unlocks it. a series of childhood memories, and with them, a talent she hid all her adult life.

Harris, author of more than 20 novels as well as short stories, screenplays, short stories, librettos, lyrics and articles, wrote broken light in tribute to Stephen King Carrie and the idea that “in literature and the media, power is often given to young people”.

In 2000, his 1999 novel Chocolate was adapted for the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, is President of the Society of Authors and was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature for 2022.

Benton, executive editor for Orion Fiction and Gollancz, said:broken light blew me away from my first reading: urgent, visceral and fast, I fell in love with Bernie and his story. It sounds like the book Joanne has been waiting to write for years, and I can’t wait to publish it.

Harris said, “I am so happy to be able to share this book with you; the story of a postmenopausal woman who realizes that what she once considered a curse is actually a superpower.

Irene B. Bowles