It’s exciting to know that amidst all the news of a contracting publishing business and the reality of shrinking book advances publishers are still passionate enough to drop $2 million on a debut author with few published credits. Emma Cline’s forthcoming novel The Girls, loosely based on the nine known murders Charles Manson and his followers committed in 1969, set off a bidding war among 12 publishers with Random House winning the Stateside auction including FSG.
“The frenzy was beyond me,” FSG editor-in-chief Eric Chinski told Vulture.com, “but Cline is very talented. Especially in light of how sensationalistic the premise of the novel is … it’s remarkable that the real heart of the writing is the friendship between two women.”
The book has also sold internationally, in Holland, England, Brazil, Poland and Italy, her agent Bill Clegg told the New York Times. “We have auctions going everywhere.”
In addition to The Girls, Cline is to write a short-story collection and another novel for Random House’s publication. Random House Executive Editorial Director Kate Medina said of the acquisition: “We fell in love with the way she writes.”
Cline’s fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and earned the literary magazine’s Plimpton Prize for Fiction. A fiction reader at The New Yorker, she has also contributed pieces to Oprah’s O Magazine and Salon.com.