A hat-trick of longlistings for Edward Carey’s LITTLE, with foreign rights sold in 11 territories!

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Edward Carey’s LITTLE, published in the UK by Gallic Books and in the US and Canada by Riverhead, has been longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize. The Walter Scott Prize celebrates “quality, innovation and longevity of writing in the English language, and is open to books first published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth”. The Rathbones Folio Prize is awarded to “works of literature in which the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression”, and the Ondaatje Prize is given to a book of the highest literary merit “which best evokes the spirit of a place”.

Foreign rights to LITTLE meanwhile have been sold in 11 territories so far, including the Czech Republic (Argo), France (Cherche-Midi), Germany (Beck), Holland (Ambo Anthos), Hungary (Europa), Italy (La Nave di Teseo), Japan (Sogensha), Korea (Arcade Publishing), Poland (Proszynski), Russia (Eksmo) and Turkey (Ithaki).

LITTLE is the wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud.

In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling: The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and at the wax museum, heads are what they do…

Praise for LITTLE:

‘One of the most original historical novels of the year. By turns macabre, funny, touching and oddly life-affirming, LITTLE is a remarkable achievement.’ — Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

‘An exquisitely disturbing treasure of a novel. Sensual, unassumingly poignant, hilarious, heartbreaking, cruel, joyous: a triumph and one of the most intoxicating novels I've read.’ — Sarah Schmidt

‘A brilliant love child of the kingdom of letters.’ — Immédiatement

‘Delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising.’ — Eleanor Catton

‘Carey, an artist and playwright who has worked at Madame Tussauds in London, has turned his experience into a startlingly original novel. He finds and treasures the ironies and macabre eccentricities of Tussaud’s world. The pages are also enriched by his beautiful and haunting illustrations of body parts and anatomical models.’ – The Times

‘Edward Carey’s Gothic tale is a wry meditation on a state between life and death… A rattling narrative is fleshed out with visceral detail and illustrations by the author… It is both clever and intriguing.’ — Daily Mail

‘Don’t miss this eccentric charmer.’ — Margaret Atwood

'LITTLE is that rare thing – a unique novel with a unique and fully-realised voice, rich in deadpan wit and surgically precise observation. By turns tragic, bizarre and deeply moving LITTLE introduces readers to a heroine like no other and a book that will truly last. It is an absolute delight.' — A.L. Kennedy

‘LITTLE is an amazing achievement. Devote yourself to its first few pages and you will be sentenced to finishing it. I was thrilled not just by the story and the human grotesquerie of it, but by the narrative gallop and the prose, so often quietly startling in the application of a solitary mot juste. A compulsively readable novel, so canny and weird and surfeited with the reality of human capacity and ingenuity that I am stymied for comparison. Dickens and David Lynch? Defoe meets Margaret Atwood? Judge for yourself.’ — Gregory Maguire author of WICKED

About the Author

Novelist, artist, playwright. His debut OBSERVATORY MANSIONS (with his illustrations) was sold in 15 languages and was described by John Fowles as ‘proving the potential brilliance of the novel form’. Born in England, he teaches at the University of Austin, Texas.

Follow Edward Carey on Twitter

Visit Edward Carey's website

Blake Friedmann Authors in Best of 2018 Lists

With 2018 drawing to a close, everyone is sharing their favourite books of the year. At Blake Friedmann, we are so proud that our authors have been featured in so many of these selections. In celebration of these amazing achievements, we have compiled this summary of the lists in which our authors were included, along with the praise that accompanied their selection.

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SILENCE IS MY MOTHER TONGUE by Sulaiman Addonia

Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'Mesmerizing story…  It's impossible not to fall in love with Saba. She brings a ton of emotional texture to the story.'

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SLAY IN YOUR LANE by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

Grazia, The 12 Books We Couldn’t Stop Talking About This Year

‘Guide to be­ing a black girl in mod­ern ur­ban Britain which is es­sen­tial read­ing for both the women it de­scribes and any­one who could do with a crash course in un­der­stand­ing their lives. Un­miss­able.’

The Guardian, Favourite Books of 2018

‘Never would I have thought a modern take on the British black female experience would be covered so wonderfully and with such excitement by two British black females. The range of topics were discussion worthy, and filled me for weeks with talking points … BUY A COPY FOR THE NEW YEAR AND BE SURPRISED AND EXCITED.’

Kimberley Sheehan, The Reading Agency, Books of the Year 2018

‘This book is a brilliant starting point to understand what it's like to be woman, black and a Londoner in 2018. It ultimately left me feeling hopeful about the future for women and empowered -- which has been a nice change compared to the rest of the year!’

Forbes, The Most Empowering Books by Female Authors of 2018

‘In this highly anticipated work from award-winning journalist Yomi Adegoke and her best friend, marketer Elizabeth Uviebinene SLAY IN YOUR LANE celebrates the gains that black women have already made in Britain whilst also highlighting the work that still needs to be done. It’s an encouraging and honest account of their own lives and a celebration of the achievements of some of Britain’s most successful black women that’ll leave you feeling fired up and hopeful for the future. For black women it serves as an inspiration and for other women and men a guide on how we can better support women of colour.’

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CITY WITHOUT STARS by Tim Baker

Jake Kerridge, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Raven Crime Reads, Top 10 Crime Reads of the Year 2018

 ‘CITY WITHOUT STARS is an intense, emotive and completely absorbing read, suffused with a violent energy, and with an unrelenting pace to its narrative. It heightens the reader’s senses and imagination throughout, completely enveloping the reader in this corrupt and violent society, with instances of intense human frailty and moments of strength, underpinned by precise description, and flurries of dark humour. I thought it was absolutely marvellous.’

The Telegraph, 50 Best Books of 2018

‘A grim but unputdownable thriller set in Mexico, where the homicide rate is so high that a prolific serial killer goes nearly unnoticed.’

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UNCOVERED by Ian Birch

Steve Smith, Folio Magazine, The Best Books for Print Lovers 2018

‘This is the book true magazine geeks will appreciate most this holiday… a deft and deep compendium of provocations from titles large and small.’

LITTLE by Edward Carey

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The Times, Books of the Year (Historical Fiction)

'Told with extraordinary panache, and illustrated by Edward Carey, this tale of the founder of Madame Tussauds is a macabre joy.'

Sunday Times Culture Magazine, Books of the Year

'Edward Carey's LITTLE is weird, wonderful and unlike any other historical novel this year. Enriched by the author's own illustrations, this retelling of the early life of Marie Grosholtz (aka Madame Tussaud) is both macabre and moving.'

Kirkus, Best Historical Fiction

Amal El-Mohtar, NPR, Best Books of 2018

'Picking up on the same themes of bodies and objects as his Iremonger trilogy, Edward Carey's LITTLE is a tenderly macabre fictional memoir written in the voice of Anne Marie Grosholtz, the woman who would become Madame Tussaud… her life is full of deep sadness mixed with fabulous incident, and compassionate insight punctuated by the author's whimsical illustrations.'

William Ryan, Irish Independent, Authors Top Books of 2018

'A gripping novel of shy wit and darkly humorous occurrences and is mesmerising in its virtuosity. On top of which the author's own illustrations are wonderfully bizarre, as indeed is the story he tells.'

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GOOD SAMARITANS by Will Carver

Jon Coates, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Jake Kerridge, Crime Time, Best of the Year 2018

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HOLD/HOUSEGIRL by Michael Donkor

Melissa Gray, NPR, Best Books of 2018

‘I hate novels. This is a strong statement, I know – here’s why I make it before telling you about HOUSEGIRL: I hate novels because too often, I know exactly where the story is heading, where the characters are heading. I loved HOUSEGIRL because Michael Donkor's storytelling and character building were so exquisite… Two days after I finished the book, I found myself actually missing the characters. This is a rare accomplishment for a first-time author, which is why I recommend HOUSEGIRL – even though it's a novel.'

The Observer, Best Books of 2018

‘Exquisite debut’

Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'A unique take on the classic "housegirl" narrative.'

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PRETEND YOU DON’T KNOW ME by Finuala Dowling

Jackie Kay, The Guardian, Best Books of 2018

‘A witty and wise collection. Her sequence about her mother’s dementia is very touching. Elsewhere, these vital works will have you crying with laughter.’

 

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TODAY SOUTH LONDON, TOMORROW SOUTH LONDON by Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison

 Evening Standard, Best Comedy Books and DVDs of 2018

 

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THE CHILDREN’S HOME by Charles Lambert

New York Times, Before Watching ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ Read These 13 Haunted Books

‘”Abandoned children of varying ages begin showing up at the sprawling estate of a disfigured recluse, Morgan Fletcher,” Carmela Ciuraru wrote, calling it “one of the year’s most bizarre stories.” “Lambert’s subtle prose enhances the novel’s creepiness, as does his refusal to fully resolve or explain its many mysteries.”’

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BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan

Den of Geeks, Top Books of 2018

‘I’d like to report a robbery. Under cover of darkness, writer and Guardian TV critic Lucy Mangan crept into my soul, pocketed my memories and wrote them up beautifully in the guise of her “memoir of childhood reading.”… Lucy Mangan’s funny, warm BOOKWORM is personal and universal in the way that the very best books are… [It] rekindles old obsessions and sends you in search of any stories you may have missed at the time. I loved this book so much, I ate it.’

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THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK by Deon Meyer

The Times, Books of the Year 2018

'Are novellas making a comeback? If they can match the elegance of [THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK], let's hope so. THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK is a delicate story of a Dutch paining and the death of a naked woman in Cape Town. As usual, DI Benny Griessel inquires.'

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WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT by Sheila O’Flanagan

One of Ireland’s best-selling books of 2018

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THE CATALOGUE OF SHIPWRECKED BOOKS by Edward Wilson Lee

The Spectator, Books of the Year  

‘the fascinating history of Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando, guardian of his father’s flame, courtier, bibliophile and cataloguer supreme, whose travels took him to the heart of 16th-century Europe.’

Edward Carey’s brilliant LITTLE to Riverhead in the US

North American rights to Edward Carey’s ‘wondrous pageant of a novel’ LITTLE have been acquired in a significant deal by Cal Morgan of Riverhead Books, who will publish in 2018. Aardvark Bureau, the world fiction imprint of the Belgravia Books Collective, will also publish LITTLE in the UK in Autumn 2018.

Carey’s return to writing for adults, after his acclaimed IREMONGER trilogy for younger readers (chosen by The New York Times, NPR, and Kirkus for their Best Books of the Year and now optioned for film), traces the fascinating life of a young Swiss girl, Marie Grosholtz, who would go on to become famous for her waxworks as Madame Tussaud.

Marie’s extraordinary career started in Berne, Switzerland, in the household of Dr Philippe Curtius. 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. During the French Revolution she was imprisoned and narrowly escaped execution – but cast the heads of many of those who were not so lucky...

Far from being a chamber of horrors, Edward Carey’s telling of Marie’s story is an affecting and exuberant tale crossing countries and covering a tumultuous period in history, told 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.

The text will be peppered with the author’s haunting illustrations.  Edward has drawn international praise both for his imaginative novels and their original imagery and his Italian publisher has had several exhibitions of his work for the illustrations from HEAP HOUSE, FOULSHAM and LUNGDON, the Iremonger trilogy.  

 

Cal Morgan said:

‘I’m so thrilled to be able to bring Edward Carey and LITTLE, his wondrous pageant of a novel, to Riverhead. Many of us here had followed Edward since the days of OBSERVATORY MANSIONS; others still have his illustrations for HEAP HOUSE fixed fondly to their walls. But this is the book Edward was born to write: a cavalcade of artists and eccentrics, rogues, royals, and radicals, set against the roil of the French Revolution. And at its centre, the tiny strong fierce little girl named Marie, nicknamed Little, eventually celebrated by the world as Madame Tussaud. It’s a book that brings me joy whenever I think of it – which is constantly. And I’m delighted we have a chance to bring it to American readers.’

 

Edward Carey said:

‘I could not be happier that the extraordinarily wise and brilliant Calvert Morgan will be the editor on LITTLE. It's taken me fifteen years to get here with this book and I can't believe how lucky I am that it has fallen into such exceptional US hands. I'm drawing furiously every day for it. Over the years I never dreamed that this might be the outcome, I'm completely overjoyed that Riverhead will publish this story about a diminutive woman who lived in a cupboard in Versailles and got to hold most of the famous heads of the French Revolution after they'd been disconnected from their bodies.’

 

Isobel Dixon, Edward’s agent at Blake Friedmann, said:

‘It’s a thrill to make this journey with the plucky, perspicacious Marie aka Little and her comrades, who are much loved in the agency. I’m delighted that Cal Morgan will be introducing her to North American readers, joining Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce of Aardvark Bureau in the UK. It’s an unfolding pleasure following the wonders from Edward Carey’s pen as he shares his drawings on Twitter every day, further illuminating this incredible story. So, happy meetings all round – and many more international adventures to follow!’

 

Alongside the IREMONGER trilogy (UK: Hot Key; US: Overlook; Canada: HarperCollins and many other markets in translation), Edward Carey 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).  

 

Follow Edward Carey on Twitter – and see his daily illustrations for LITTLE!


Visit Edward Carey's website

 

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

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

LITTLE: THE STORY OF MADAME TUSSAUD

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