Heated Auction for Mary Costello’s Debut Novel
Mary Costello, one of Ireland’s most promising literary talents, has signed with Canongate Books after a heated UK auction. Francis Bickmore, Publishing Director at Canongate acquired Costello’s debut novel,Academy Street, as part of a three book deal with Simon Trewin at WME. Bickmore bought UK and Commonwealth Rights (ex. Canada and ANZ) in Academy Street, a second novel and Costello’s debut story collection, The China Factory.
Canongate will publish Academy Street in hardback in November 2014. Australian rights to Academy Street were bought by Michael Heyward at Text and North American rights were bought at auction by Mitzi Angel at FSG through Jay Mandel at WME’s New York office.
Academy Street is the heart-rending and evocative story of one woman’s life spanning four decades. Played out against the backdrop of American life over forty years, Academy Street resonates with the rhythms of memory and of home, as well as those of America’s greatest city. It tells an intimate story about love, loss and longing, and the perpetual ache for belonging.
‘Mary Costello’s writing has the kind of urgency that the great problems demand ‒ call them themes; they are the kind of problem that make a writer. With a bit of luck, they could keep her at the desk for the rest of her life.’ – ANNE ENRIGHT
Costello’s short story collection, The China Factory (Stinging Fly Press, 2012) was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award (UK) and shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Her stories have been broadcast by BBC and RTE (Ireland) radio and have been shortlisted for a Hennessy Award.
Francis Bickmore, Publishing Director at Canongate said, “I challenge anyone to read Academy Street without shedding a tear. Costello’s writing cuts straight to the heart. People will love Mary’s voice but also the novel’s sweep. This is a story of one woman’s search for belonging played out against a backdrop of twentieth century events. Academy Street marks the arrival of a major league writer.’
Mary Costello is understandably pleased with such an enthusiastic reception to her first book: “I’m absolutely delighted that Canongate and FSG and Text are publishing my first novel - the passion and enthusiasm they’ve all shown for Academy Street is incredibly gratifying.”