Simon & Schuster has pre-empted Nydia Hetherington's debut, The Funambulist. S&S editor Emma Capron bought World rights, including Audio, from Samar Hammam of Rocking Chair Books Literary Agency, and S&S will publish The Funambulist as a hardback in January 2020.
According to the publisher: "This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived. Born into a post-war circus family, our nameless star was unwanted and forgotten, abandoned in the shadows of the big top. Until the bright light of Serendipity Wilson threw her into focus. Now an adult, haunted by an incident in which a child was lost from the circus, our narrator weaves together her spellbinding tales of circus legends, magic and folklore, all in the hope of finding the child..."
Capron said: "This is fantastical fiction at its very best. A historical novel threaded with magical realism and folklore in the tradition of Angela Carter and Erin Morgenstern. I knew straight away that we had something truly special here! In a time when films like The Greatest Showman and The Shape of Water are dominating the big screen, the story of 'the greatest funambulist who ever lived' couldn’t feel more relevant. I can't wait to share this beautifully written, weirdly wonderful book with the masses."
Hetherington (pictured) said: "When Samar first told me of Emma's interest in the book, I literally jumped up and down (literally!), and I haven't stopped jumping since. I'm thrilled that The Funambulist is going to be part of the Simon & Schuster family, it's a dream come true. I couldn't be more delighted."
Hammam said: "I simply can't wait for The Funambulist to capture readers' hearts with its exhilarating mix of circus magic and storytelling. From the first time I met Nydia I knew she was a writer through and through. I have no doubt she will be writing brilliant novels and enchanting readers for many years to come."