'Room' Writer Sells New Novel

Emma Donoghue - H 2015
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Room writer Emma Donoghue has sold The Wonder, a new novel, to Little Brown for publication in the fall of 2016, the publisher announced. 

The 1850s-set story follows Anna, an 11-year-old Irish girl who has stopped eating but remains healthy and alive, and Lib, the English nurse who wants to expose her as a fraud. Little Brown pitches it as “a powerful psychological thriller” and “a story of love pitted against evil in its many masks.” The Irish-born Donoghue, who now resides in Canada, said she was excited to return to her homeland with the new novel.

Room, about a 5-year-old boy and his mother who are being held captive (akin to the Amanda Berry-Gina DeJesus-Michelle Knight Cleveland kidnapping case) and told from the boy’s perspective, was a critical and commercial hit when it was published in 2010. It was long listed for the Man Booker Prize. The movie version, starring Brie Larson, has generated Oscar buzz since screening at the Telluride and Toronto festivals in August and September. The movie opens in limited release on Friday.

Donoghue’s 2014 novel, Frog Music, is also set in the 1800s. It's about an exotic dancer investigating the murder of her friend — a cross-dressing bicyclist who was fascinated by frogs.

Judith Clain acquired world rights, minus Canada and the U.K., for Little Brown. Donoghue was represented by Kathleen Anderson of Anderson Literary Management.