French bestseller Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay has been acquired by Heather Barrett at John Murray at auction. Barrett bought British Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Christina Harcar at St Martin's Press for "a respectable five-figure sum", and will publish in February 2008 as a B-format paperback original.
The novel, de Rosnay's first in English, focuses on the Vel' d'Hiv'—the day in 1942, when French police rounded up thousands of Jews to send them to concentration camps. It is the story of two families—Sarah, a 10-year-old Jewish girl in Paris in 1942, and Julia Jarmond, an American journalist in 2002, who is asked to write about the 60th anniversary of the Vel' d'Hiv'.
De Rosnay was the Paris editor for Vanity Fair, writes for French Elle, and is a literary critic for Psychologies magazine.
John Murray is one of Britain’s most distinguished literary publishers. From its foundation in 1768, the firm has published a dazzling roster of authors, including Byron, Darwin and Jane Austen, and now publishes a small and highly focused list specialising in travel, history, biography and memoirs, current affairs and fiction, publishing in both hardback and paperback.