EXCLUSIVE: Six weeks before the theatrical release of A Man Called Ove, Swedish best-selling novelist Fredrik Backman has extended his U.S. and Canadian publishing deal with Atria Books. The Simon & Schuster imprint will publish a novella and three novels by the writer, whose Ove along with a second book, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, are long-running hits on the New York Times trade paperback fiction bestseller list.
Swedish director Hannes Holm’s film of A Man Called Ove enjoyed a record opening weekend in its home country last December. Music Box Films acquired North American rights to the dramedy from TrustNordisk. It’s described as the heartfelt and humorous story of a grumpy old man dreary whose life and negative outlook are put to the test when a new family moves in next door. Music Box plans to release the film in the U.S. on September 30.
The first new book slated to be published under the new deal is Backman’s novella And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer. It, too, centers on an elderly man, who struggles to hold on to his memories, face his regrets and help his son and grandson prepare for his death. The publication date is set for November 1 in small-format hardcover, with a dozen original color illustrations throughout.
The first of the three new novels, Beartown, is slated for publication in spring 2017. It concerns a depressed town whose hopes for a brighter future rest on its junior ice hockey team as it goes after the national title.
Atria and Simon & Schuster Canada acquired U.S. rights and Canadian rights, respectively, to the four books. Simon & Schuster Audio will publish the audiobooks in digital and compact disk formats. Backman’s American editor, Peter Borland, VP and Editorial Director of Atria Books/Washington Square Press, acquired the books via Tor Jonasson of the Salmonsson Agency in Sweden.