La obra de Javier Marías en Penguin

New Marías for HH, as Penguin scoops backlist

Hamish Hamilton has acquired award-winning Spanish author Javier Marías’ new novel, The Infatuations with a five-figure advance, with Penguin Modern Classics scooping seven titles from his backlist in a simultaneous deal also worth five figures.

Marías was born in Madrid in 1951, and his fiction has been translated into 40 languages and published in 50 countries. A Heart So White, which scooped the IMPAC Award in 1997, has sold two million copies worldwide, according to Penguin.

Hamish Hamilton’s edition of The Infatuations will be released in early 2013, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, with publishing director Simon Prosser acquiring UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, through Maria Lynch at Barcelona-based agency Casanovas & Lynch. The publisher said The Infatuations is about the state of being in love, and the impossibility of ever knowing the truth, especially about our own thoughts. Hamish Hamilton publishing director Simon Prosser said: “I couldn’t be happier taking on any other living author. Javier Marías is that rarest of things: a writer who has invented a new language for the writing of fiction.”

Meanwhile, Penguin Classics publisher Adam Freudenheim bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to the seven backlist titles, again through Lynch. The titles are All Souls, A Heart So White, Tomorrow in the Battle Think On Me, Dark Back of Time, When I was Mortal, The Man of Feeling and Written Lives, which will be published at the beginning of August 2012 as Penguin Modern Classics. Written Lives was previously published by Canongate, with the other titles lately with Vintage at Random House.

Freudenheim said: “I’ve long been a fan of Javier Marías, so it’s a privilege to be able to publish so much of his original, highly enjoyable ouevre in ­Penguin Modern Classics.”

CHARLOTTE WILLIAMS

The Bookseller.com, July 8, 2011