Lovely to see the cover reveal and news of The Night Ship release date in The Bookseller:
Canongate dives in for Kidd’s maritime epic in two-book deal
Canongate has acquired Jess Kidd’s The Night Ship, a tale of “heart and salt and tears”, in a two-book deal.
Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the novel and a second book from Sue Armstrong at C&W. Canongate will publish The Night Ship as a lead hardback in August 2022, while Atria Books will publish in the US. Publication will be supported with a “major” super lead campaign.
The historic fiction moves between time frames, shifting from 1629, where a great Dutch ship is wrecked on the reef surrounding an island off the west coast of Australia, marooning a young girl, to 1989, where a child finds a home with his grandfather on the same island.
“This is epic historical fiction based on the real-life wrecking of the ‘Batavia’, a vessel of the Dutch East India Company,” the synopsis states. “A tale of mutiny and shipwreck, it is known as one of the worst horror stories in maritime history – here told in Kidd’s brilliantly imaginative signature style.”
Bickmore said of the novel: “The Night Ship is an outrageously gripping novel, a maritime epic packed with heart, salt and tears. Against the backdrop of one of the darkest chapters in humanity’s past, Kidd builds the friendship between two of the kindest and most generous characters I’ve encountered, separated by time but joined in struggle. Fans of her work know Jess Kidd has star quality and this book is her magnum opus. Batten down the hatches!”
Kidd is the author of adult novels, Himself, The Hoarder and Things in Jars and a book for children, Everyday Magic, all published by Canongate. In 2017 Kidd won the Costa Short Story Award and in 2020 she was picked by the Times as one of the best emerging Irish writers.
She said: “I’m thrilled and proud that The Night Ship has found the best of homes with the Canongate crew. The incredible real-life story of the shipwreck of the ‘Batavia’ and its aftermath gripped and obsessed me and sent me all over – from a shipyard in the Netherlands to a windswept island off Western Australia – in search of the truth of it. The facts are more incredible than fiction and the characters inspired by this research my most beloved yet. More than anything I hoped to do this incredible story justice by writing a storm-lashed epic with a beating heart.”