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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Audrey Niffenegger Rolls the Dice Again

Have you wondered for the last few years , like me, what happened to Audrey Niffenegger? Hard as it is to believe, it has already been six years since the huge, come-from-nowhere, splash she made with The Time Traveler's Wife.

Well, according to a Saturday New York Times article, Niffenegger, an artist and "faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts" is back, and she is back in a big way with a near $5 million advance from Scribner for her second novel:
The book (Her Fearful Symmetry) is a supernatural story about twins who inherit an apartment near a London cemetery and become embroiled in the lives of the building’s other residents and the ghost of their aunt, who left them the flat.

The auction for Ms. Niffenegger’s second novel involved several large New York publishing houses, as well as the original hardcover publisher of “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” MacAdam/Cage, the San Francisco-based independent, and the publisher that holds paperback rights to the first novel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
...
As publishers seek sure bets, Ms. Niffenegger’s new novel attracted widespread interest. But second novels can be risky. Charles Frazier, the author of “Cold Mountain,” for example, received an $8 million advance for his second book, “Thirteen Moons,” but it did not sell as well as his first.

“There are going to be people coming to the book with claws out,” said Joe Regal, Ms. Niffenegger’s agent. “That’s just reality.
I have to admit that the plot description of this one does not appeal to me nearly to the degree that The Time Traveler's Wife sucked me in. But, who knows? Niffenegger's first novel was so much fun that I'm hoping that she's done it again, for her sake - and, more selfishly, for mine.
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