Gallic Books has acquired This Mortal Boy
Gallic Books has acquired This Mortal Boy, the latest novel by leading New Zealand author Dame Fiona Kidman, described by The Times as ‘a beautiful writer’.
Jane Aitken, founder and MD of Gallic, bought WEL rights (excluding ANZ) from Nerrilee Weir at Penguin Random House Australia.
To be published under the Aardvark Bureau world fiction imprint, This Mortal Boy (July 2019) will be Kidman’s fourth novel to be released in the UK.
Based on a true story, the novel revolves around the trial of young Northern Irish immigrant Albert Black for the killing of another man at a jukebox in Auckland in 1955. Black was to become the penultimate man to hang in New Zealand during a decade when outsiders were mistrusted and the nation was gripped with ‘moral panic’ over the behaviour of teenagers.
Long a campaigner for social justice, Kidman concluded while researching the novel that Albert Black had been the victim of a miscarriage of justice, and she is now campaigning for his murder conviction to be overturned.
Aitken said: ‘Fiona Kidman’s wonderful novel about the Albert “Paddy” Black case is brilliant and heart-breaking – an exploration of the moral panic that swept through 1950s New Zealand, and the devastating effect of this on a poor immigrant and his family thousands of miles away.’
Praise for This Mortal Boy:
Shortlisted for the NZ Heritage Book Awards 2018
‘Like Hilary Mantel, she writes with acute observation and attention to detail, getting inside the skin of her characters to establish a deeper truth about their thoughts and feelings than any official record can.’ New Zealand Books
‘Believable, insightful … an important book’ Australian Women’s Weekly
‘A tale about violent acts that is infused with humanity and compassion’ New Zealand Listener
Praise for Fiona Kidman:
‘Fiona Kidman, a poet, is a beautiful writer’ The Times
‘A masterful storyteller’ The Lady
‘A fascinating read’ Red on The Infinite Air
Dame Fiona Kidman OBE, Légion d’honneur, is a leading contemporary novelist, short story writer and poet. Her writing career spans over 30 books in over 50 years. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.