Aardvark Bureau acquires a new kind of book, a reading experience like no other!


Aardvark Bureau, the world fiction imprint of the Belgravia Books Collective, has acquired Edward Carey’s extraordinary picaresque novel LITTLE, based on the incredible life story of the world’s most famous wax sculptor, Marie Tussaud.

LITTLE is to be illustrated by Edward Carey’s distinctive pencil drawings.

Aardvark Bureau has acquired UK, Europe and Commonwealth (ex Can) rights from Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann.

Born Marie Grosholtz in 1761 in Alsace but known as ‘Little’ in the novel for her diminutive size, Marie started out in the household of Dr Philippe Curtius in Berne, Switzerland . A physician skilled in creating anatomical wax models, it was Curtius who taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling and took her to pre-revolutionary France.

At the age of 17, Marie became the art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister, Madame Elisabeth, at Versailles. During the French Revolution she was imprisoned and narrowly escaped execution. She cast the heads of many of those who were not so lucky... She married François Tussaud in 1795 and later moved to London, where she set up her world-famous waxworks museum.

Far from being a chamber of horrors, Edward Carey’s telling of Marie’s story is an affecting and exuberant Dickensian tale crossing countries and covering a tumultuous period in history, through the eyes of a cast of quirky and sympathetic characters. It is an unconventional love story, the tale of a woman’s rise to success against the odds, and a hymn to the strange beauty of the human body.

Edward Carey first became fascinated by the story of Madame Tussaud while working at the London museum. He is the author of two previous works of literary fiction – OBSERVATORY MANSIONS (Picador, 2000, shortlisted for the Borders Discover New Writers Award) and ALVA AND IRVA (Picador, 2003, longlisted for the IMPAC) – as well as the acclaimed Iremonger Trilogy for young adults, beginning with HEAP HOUSE (chosen by The New York Times, NPR, and Kirkus for their Best Books of the Year and now optioned for film).

LITTLE will be published by Aardvark Bureau in autumn 2018, including illustrations by the author: chapters will be illustrated with line drawings of characters and objects mentioned, while the cover will feature Carey’s painting of LITTLE in the style of Jacques-Louis David, whom Marie encounters in the book when she is asked to make a waxwork of the murdered Marat.

Jane Aitken says: ‘There are so many reasons to be excited about publishing LITTLE. Such an original novel which marries the Gallic and Aardvark lists perfectly – rich with French history, but written in English with Edward’s wit and pathos. And we are thrilled at the prospect of publishing Edward’s wonderful illustrations.’

Edward Carey says: ‘I'm absolutely thrilled to have LITTLE published by Aardvark Bureau who know the French world so well, and who have been so enthusiastic about this story of a diminutive servant turned entertainment mogul. Aardvark are so inspiring to work with, full of ideas and enthusiasm, and with a tremendous encouragement have championed this novel spanning a big stretch of calamitous history told by a small bloodstained crumb...and they have let me populate it with pencil sketches. I couldn't be happier.’

Carey’s agent, Isobel Dixon, says: ‘Madame Tussaud’s journey was an extraordinary one, and in so imaginatively retracing her footsteps and the growth of her art, Edward Carey has created a novel of wonder. LITTLE is funny, dark, and moving, about the great violent sweep of revolution as well as the tender secrets of the heart.  I’m thrilled with this perfect match of innovative publisher with brilliant author and I look forward to more creative publishing adventures ahead in bringing this unforgettable novel to readers.’


Praise for Edward Carey:

‘Delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising, philosophical’ - Eleanor Catton

‘It's hard to imagine a better subject for Edward Carey's particular genius than the life of Madame Tussaud’ - Charles Lambert

‘Edward Carey is an enormously talented writer’ - Publishers Weekly

‘Edward Carey is one of the strangest writers we are privileged to have in this country’ - Observer

‘Carey writes with such persuasive authority, and we are inclined to believe him’ - New York Times Review of Books

‘If this were music, Carey would be Eric Satie. If it were film, he would be Tim Burton’ - Newsday

 ‘Conveyed with so much sympathy and acute observation that it is hard not to be beguiled’ - The Times


About Edward Carey

Edward Carey is a novelist, visual artist and playwright. His acclaimed YA series the Iremonger Trilogy (HEAP HOUSE, FOULSHAM and LUNGDON) is published in thirteen countries and has been optioned for film adaptation. Born in England, Edward has lived in France, Romania, Lithuania, Germany, Ireland and Denmark. He now lives in the USA and teaches at the University of Austin, Texas.


Follow Edward Carey on Twitter
Visit Edward Carey's website

Debut 'moral thriller' BLOODY JANUARY to Canongate at auction...and more!

Alan Parks_001.jpg

Alan Parks' phenomenal debut, BLOODY JANUARY, which Francis Bickmore at Canongate won at auction (from agent Tom Witcomb), swept up a host of fantastic rights deals at London Book Fair 2017. Michael Reynolds at Europa will publish in the US as a lead title for their crime-list relaunch.  

There has also been an auction for Czech rights (Euromedia), with Slovak (Ikar) & Turkish (Nemesis) rights sold. Payot Rivages pre-empted for French rights before the fair. And after a very positive fair – more to come!

Described as a ‘moral thriller’, the first in a new crime series set in Glasgow is Tartan Noir at its best, for fans of Ian Rankin, Louise Welsh, and William McIlvanney’s LAIDLAW trilogy. John Niven, author of KILL YOUR FRIENDS, described the book as: ‘A brilliant debut. Taut, violent and as close as you'll get to 1970s Glasgow without a Tardis. Parks is a natural successor to William McIIvanney.’

18-year-old Tommy Malone shoots a young woman dead on a busy Glasgow street, and then commits suicide, hard-drinking, salt-of-the-earth cop, Harry McCoy knows it can’t be a random act of violence. With a new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to build a picture of a secret society run by Glasgow’s wealthiest family. The son, Teddy, drugged young Tommy, and convinced him it was his God-given task to kill the woman. Drugs, sex, incest; every nefarious predilection is catered for, at the expense of the lower echelon of society, an underclass that includes McCoy’s best friend — drug-Tsar Stevie Cooper — and his on-off girlfriend, a prostitute, Janey. But with McCoy’s boss, Murray, calling off the hounds, and Murray’s boss threatening to scupper the entire investigation, the Dunlops are apparently untouchable. McCoy has other ideas.

Barbara Erskine receives Outstanding Achievement Award from RNA

We are delighted to report that Barbara Erskine was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award this week by the RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association). This award follows HarperCollins’ publication last week of a special limited edition hardback of LADY OF HAY - Erskine’s beloved debut novel which was first released 30 years ago.

Her latest novel SLEEPER’S CASTLE is set to be published in paperback on 6th April, and returns to the setting of Hay. On its hardback publication last year, SLEEPER’S CASTLE spent many weeks in the Sunday Times bestsellers lists.

Members of the publishing world took to Twitter to offer their congratulations.

‘So well deserved!!’ said Hannah Gamon, Fiction Marketing Director at HarperCollins. ‘A wonderful author whose books have made the world an even more magical place’.

The RNA’s awards ceremony also took place on the same day that a memorial was held for Erskine’s former agent Carole Blake.

‘Carole would be so proud but also so busy saying 'long overdue'’ tweeted Lynne Drew, Publishing Director at HarperCollins.


Praise for Barbara Erskine and LADY OF HAY:

'The Queen of time-slip epics.' – The Bookseller

'Stephen King meets Ruth Rendell.' – Frank Delaney

‘Fascinating, absorbing, original – all such praise comes easily when describing Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay. But perhaps the most suitable world is hypnotic.’ -- SHE

 'The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men.' – The Times

‘Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping.’ – The Good Book Guide

‘A record breaker whichever way you look at it…a rattling good romance-cum-thriller.’ – MS London

 ‘A most intriguing novel … very cleverly handled, and gripping. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Maidenhead Advertiser

‘A fast-paced passionate historical romance with the tension of a modern thriller…fascinating and memorable. – Ealing Gazette


About Barbara Erskine

An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of 14 bestselling novels, beginning with the much-loved classic, LADY OF HAY, which has sold over 3 million copies. She has also published three highly successful volumes of short stories. Her books, which have appeared in 24 languages, demonstrate her masterful storytelling abilities and her fascination with history and the supernatural. She lives with her family in an old police station in Hay-on-Wye.

Visit Barbara Erskine’s website

Follow Barbara on Twitter

Debut novel by Anbara Salam acquired by Fig Tree!

Juliet Annan, Publishing Director at Fig Tree (an imprint of Penguin General), has acquired at auction the UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to a début novel by Anbara Salam from Hattie Grünewald at Blake Friedmann.

Set on a small island in the South Pacific, and centred around two missionaries, Max and his wife Bea, who have come to live there, this stunning début novel evokes the enchantment of Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER and the wisdom of Barbara Kingsolver’s THE POISONWOOD BIBLE.

 Anbara Salam

Anbara Salam

Anbara Salam is a Research Associate at the University of Oxford with a PhD in Theology. She was named after her great-grandmother (Anbara Salam Khalidi), a feminist translator and writer, and the first Lebanese woman to remove her hijab in public. She’s half-Palestinian and half-Scottish, has lived in Lebanon for a year and travelled extensively around the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Juliet Annan says “Anbara is a thrilling new talent. This is a gripping, dark but also very funny novel that brilliantly evokes the jungle landscape and a particular era, and it is beautifully written. It darkens and becomes grotesque – but it is always full of feeling and suspense.”

Anbara Salam says “I am delighted to be joining the team at Fig Tree, and I’m so grateful to Juliet Annan and to my agent Hattie Grünewald for their enthusiasm for the book. It’s a huge honour to be part of Fig Tree’s list.”

Follow Anbara Salam on Twitter