THE OVERLOOK PRESS ACQUIRES CAGING SKIES
THE OVERLOOK PRESS ACQUIRES CAGING SKIES, WITH A MAJOR FILM RELEASE TO BE BASED ON THE NOVEL; FIRST FICTION ACQUISTION FOR NEW LIST AT ABRAMS
New York, New York – December 10, 2018 – The Overlook Press’ Associate Publisher and Editorial Director Tracy Carns has acquired the novel CAGING SKIESby Christine Leunens, from agent Laura Susijn in a deal for world English language rights excluding New Zealand. To be published in August 2019, this is the first acquisition and the first work of fiction for The Overlook Press at ABRAMS following the publisher’s recent integration of the imprint’s lists.
“I can’t think of a more exciting way to launch The Overlook Press at ABRAMS than with Christine Leunens’s stunning novel, which is at once a literary page turner and darkly comic satire about war, confused loyalties, and twisted obsessions, all told from the complex perspective of a young boy struggling with adult-level prejudices and capacity for self-deception,” says Carns.
A film based on Leunens’s novel, directed and scripted by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows) is planned for a 2019 release by Fox Searchlight, starring Scarlett Johansson as the boy’s mother and featuring Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant, and Rebel Wilson, as well as Waititi, appearing as Hitler.
“Caging Skies is precisely the kind of fiction that we envisioned would help us launch The Overlook Press at ABRAMS. It is an interesting, eclectic, beautifully written, timely, and historical novel that has been overlooked. Clearly, the forthcoming film by a world-class director will undoubtedly help us find a platform for bringing the book and the author to market both in English and around the world,” says Michael Jacobs, President and CEO of ABRAMS.
CAGING SKIES, set in World War II Vienna, tells the story of young Johannes Betzler, who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl behind a false wall in their home. After he’s disfigured in a Hitler Youth raid, Johannes focuses more and more on his connection with the girl behind the wall—for whom he feels both love and revulsion—while also turning to an imaginary Hitler dispensing cheap comfort and bad advice.
Leunens is the author of three novels that have been translated into more than fifteen languages. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, she’s spent most of her life in Europe and now lives in New Zealand. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts in English and American literature and language from Harvard University. A former model, Leunens was the face of Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Nina Ricci, and others.
In addition to their own publication of CAGING SKIES, ABRAMS negotiated deals with Blackstone Publishing for the audiobook for World English (except British Commonwealth) markets as well as with the UK publisher, John Murray Press, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton UK, to publish the book and audiobook for the UK/Australia/British Commonwealth and European markets. All formats will be published simultaneously in August 2019.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JENNIFER BRUNN
JBRUNN@ABRAMSBOOKS.COM / 212.519.1257