RIGHTS TO KAREN POWELL'S THE RIVER WITHIN SOLD TO EUROPA EDITIONS AT AUCTION

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Europa Editions UK has secured Karen Powell's "extraordinary" novel at auction.

Director Christopher Potter has acquired rights for two titles from Samuel Hodder at Blake Friedmann following a two-publisher auction. As well as UK and Commonwealth, Potter bought rights for United States and Italy “such was the strength of our feelings and commitment”. Europa will publish the first novel, THE RIVER WITHIN, in 2020.

“I was bowled over by the poetic intensity of this extraordinary novel,” Potter said. THE RIVER WITHIN is as evocative of place and landscape as any novel I can think of. I believe THE RIVER WITHIN will immediately find its place as a classic in a tradition that includes the novels of Thomas Hardy and Graham Swift.”

Powell said: “I am delighted to be working with an editor of Christopher’s calibre and with Europa Editions – they’re passionate champions of European literary fiction and the quality of their list is ridiculously good.”

For both titles, audio rights for the UK and British Commonwealth (excluding Canada) were sold to WF Howes.

THE RIVER WITHIN is a piercing and evocative novel set in 1950s Yorkshire. On a summer’s day in the village of Starome, the body of young Danny Masters emerges from the river. It’s found by Danny’s three teenage friends: Alexander, the volatile heir to Richmond Hall, the country estate that neighbours Starome, and sister and brother, Lennie and Tom, whose father is secretary to the Richmond family. The friends’ responses to Danny’s death are strange. Why does Alexander seem oddly stimulated, excited even, and why is Lennie so keen for everyone to move on? How did Danny die? Did he fall in, or jump? Or worse?  In an interweaving narrative that moves across the months before and after Danny’s death, the secrets of the village begin to surface.

Powell left school at 16, but returned to education as a mature student to study English Literature at Cambridge University. She lives in Yorkshire, and an early draft of THE RIVER WITHIN was awarded a Northern Writers’ TLC ‘New Fiction Reads’ prize, which seeks to support work-in-progress by new, emerging and established writers across the North of England. She subsequently attended the ‘New Writing North’ Summer Talent Salon in 2018, where she secured agent representation from Hodder.  

WEEPING WATERS published by Europa Editions

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‘An arresting debut from South African crime author Brynard validates her reputation as ‘The Afrikaans Stieg Larsson.’ Brynard brings a strong, authentic voice to the country’s conflict-ridden past and its current complex society and entangled land claims. A brilliant ensemble cast, well-measured suspense, straightforward dialogue, and nice pacing add up to an outstanding thriller. Fans of other South African authors, from James McClure to Deon Meyer, will relish Brynard’s new and distinctive voice.’— Jane Murphy, Booklist

Karin Brynard’s Albertus Beeslaar, the South African Wallander, emerged from his homeland to reach US readers this week as Europa Editions launch their World Noir imprint. WEEPING WATERS, translated by Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon, will be out in the UK later this month, on 19 April, and will also be published by E/O in Italy. German, French and Dutch editions are already available and a TV series is currently in development with Three Rivers Fiction.

‘For years Afrikaans readers have been raving about the talented Brynard - now with this translation...English-speaking book fanatics will get to find out for themselves what all the fuss is about.’ — YOU Magazine

Publisher’s Weekly called WEEPING WATERS ‘an impressive debut’ and Crime Fiction Lover said: ‘If WEEPING WATERS is anything to go by, this could be the start of an addictive new series about crime in the Rainbow Nation.’

In South Africa, where Penguin publish in both English and Afrikaans, Brynard is a Number One bestseller. WEEPING WATERS is followed by OUR FATHERS, also bought by Europa and E/O, and this year Penguin will publish the English translation of the third Beeslaar novel, HOMELAND.

Beeslaar is a traumatized cop who has abandoned tough city policing and a broken relationship in Johannesburg for a backwater post on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. But his dream of rural peace is soon shattered by the repeated attacks of a brutally efficient crime syndicate, as he struggles to train and connect with rookie local cops, Ghaap and Pyl, who resent his brusqueness and his old-school ways.

Karin Brynard is a former political and investigative journalist and uses her research skills and eye for detail to fascinating effect in her novels. She is Winner of the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize, ATKV Literature Prize, and twice winner of the M-Net Literature Awards.

Check out Karin’s website here, and follow her on Twitter.

Praise for Karin Brynard, and WEEPING WATERS

‘Brooding. Riveting. Brilliant.’ — Deon Meyer

‘The Afrikaans Stieg Larsson.’ — Rooi Rose

‘WEEPING WATERS is crime fiction you never want to end. Buy this book. Crime fiction doesn't get any better. High praise doesn't come close to doing justice to this book.’ — Mike Nicol, author of Payback and the Revenge Series

‘An impressive debut novel. Crime fiction fans will find the picturesque backdrop, cast of authentic characters, and knotty story line to be more than satisfying.’ — Publishers Weekly 

‘WEEPING WATERS is brimming with authenticity. A lucent tale of farm murder and rural society in the vice of social pressures, with the translation beautifully done by Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon.’ — William Saunderson-Meyer, Sunday Times, 2014 Best Reads

‘An assured debut — intriguing from its inception, punchy, gritty, by turns gruesome, sensitive, dense and ever evocative... Ultimately what WEEPING WATERS gets spot on is the introduction of another compelling leading man, an indisputably good man, who can allow readers in English to traverse the diverse social strata that make South Africa such a fertile ground for its skilled writers.’ — Cape Times