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Granta Books has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Earthlings, a new novel by Sayaka Murata, author of Convenience Store Woman and one of Japan’s most respected writers.  Senior commissioning editor Anne Meadows concluded the deal with Amy Hundley at Grove Atlantic, on behalf of Kohei Hattori at the English Agency Japan.

Arabic rights in the title are still available.  Her most famous novel, Convenience Store Woman, is published in Arabic by Athar Publishing House of King Fahad Road, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.  It won the Akutagawa Prize, one of Japan’s most prestigious literary prizes.

The new novel will be translated into English by Ginny Tapley Takemori, who also translated Convenience Store Woman.  Set in contemporary Japan, Earthlings is the story of two children who believe they have come from outer space.  Granta says: ‘Forcibly separated by their families, cruelly treated by the very people who should care for them, they must struggle against society to find each other again. Their reunion, when it comes, will have spectacular and violent consequences.’

Meadows said: “It has been such a joy seeing readers fall in love with Convenience Store Woman, and I am so happy that we’ll publish a new Murata novel next year.  Earthlings is a wild and powerful story of unconventional love, of the strictures placed particularly on young women and the strange paths you might take to find freedom.”

Convenience Store Woman has acquired cult status since it was published in 2016.  It has sold more 1.5m copies in Japan alone and been translated into more than 30 languages.

Granta Books will publish Earthlings in the UK in summer 2020.