Kate Parkin, Managing Director of Adult Trade Publishing at Bonnier Books UK has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in two books by novelist Christy Lefteri from agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor in a hotly contested auction. The Beekeeper of Aleppo, which Parkin describes as ‘a testament to courage, and the power of love’ has also been sold in France, Italy, Germany Holland, Spain and Turkey, and is expected to be a major title at Frankfurt. Zaffre will publish in hardback in May 2019.
For readers of Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Chris Cleave’s The Other Hand, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a love story about a couple who endure the worst of times but meet it with resilience and compassion. It tells not only the terrifying physical journey Nuri and Afra face in their escape from Aleppo – a story ripped straight from today’s headlines – but also of their journey back to each other in the wake of unimaginable tragedy.
Exquisitely written, this is a book with the power to raise and inspire. I am proud to be publishing it.’
Kate Parkin, Managing Director of Adult Trade Publishing, Bonnier Books UK
Kate Parkin said: ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo is extraordinary. There’s a simplicity, a power, a compassion in the story Christy Lefteri tells that speaks to us on a completely different level. Like The Tattooist of Auschwitz, it shows us that an individual can be bigger than their oppression, that even in the worst of circumstances, humanity can shine through. Exquisitely written, this is a book with the power to raise and inspire. I am proud to be publishing it.’
Marianne Gunn O’Connor said: ‘As an agent, you dream of a quick response to a submission. The enthusiasm shown by publishers to The Beekeeper Of Aleppo blew me away, but Kate Parkin at Bonnier Books UK, who called in less than 24 hours, took it to a whole other level when she couriered a beautifully bound, very detailed publishing proposal. This powerful declaration of the whole team’s passion and vision for The Beekeeper was something neither Christy nor I will ever forget. During the same week, colleague and international co-agent Vicki Satlow accepted pre-empts from Le Seuil in France and Piemme in Italy, which were followed by auctions in Germany, Holland, Turkey and Spain.
Christy Lefteri said: ‘The moment I saw the beautiful publishing proposal that the team at Bonnier Books UK had put together, I knew that my novel had found its perfect home. I thought back to the work I did in Athens, to the amazing people I met and the heartbreaking journeys they had made. The story is so close to my heart and I was blown away by Bonnier Books UK’s response and passion. I look forward to the journey ahead.’