Novel based on Lale Sokolov's struggles to keep himself and others alive
Bonnier Zaffre had an international hit on its hands on day one of the London Book Fair with The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.
The novel is based on the true story of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, who was forced to tattoo the numbers on his fellow victims' arms that would mark them for survival, and who used the infinitesimal freedom of movement his position gave him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive.
Bonnier Zaffre has world rights, and is publishing alongside sister company Echo Publishing in Australia. Rights director Ruth Logan has accepted pre-empts in Germany (Piper), Poland (Marginesy), and the Netherlands (HarperCollins); an auction is under way in Italy, and further offers are coming in.
Kate Parkin at Bonnier Zaffre said: "What makes this book so memorable is Lale Sokolov's zest for life. His story is an example of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances. We are very proud to be publishing The Tattooist of Auschwitz alongside our Australian sister company Echo Publishing."
Photo: Lale Sokolov and his wife Gita