Lettice Franklin, Editorial Director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, has acquired World English Language rights for Andrea Abreu’s Donkey’s Belly at auction, from Marina Penalva at Casanovas & Lynch.
Abreu’s novel was published in Spanish by Editorial Barrett in June 2020 and has already been reprinted 7 times. Translation rights have sold in 8 territories, and the film rights are currently being negotiated with a prize-winning production company.
A short novel about a long, very hot summer, Donkey’s Belly is set in Tenerife in 2005, in a small island village far from the sea and the holidaymakers whose houses the narrator’s mother cleans. The novel follows the explosive, all-consuming friendship between two pre-pubescent girls as they navigate feelings of admiration, envy, jealousy and sexual desire.
Andrea Abreu wrote the novel when she was 24 and working in a lingerie store in Madrid. The novel is written in Canary dialect – and combines poetry, prose, reggaeton lyrics and flashes of nature writing.
Lettice Franklin, editor, said: ‘Andrea Abreu is an extraordinary new voice and as soon as I encountered her prose I was desperate to bring her to the W&N list. Donkey’s Belly is one of the most exciting débuts I have read in a very long time – it is fizzing with life, it is vivid, gleeful, fearless, bodily, funny, shocking and totally unique. I am over the moon to have acquired it and I can’t wait for readers to meet its two young heroines.’
Andrea Abreu, said: ‘I had always wanted to talk about that childhood moment when we first experienced our sexuality through our friends, especially our best friend. Usually, as adults, when we are asked what our first kiss was, we give the name of a boy (that is our official story), but, most of the times, we are lying. Probably, our first great love was our best friend and our first kiss was with her too. Donkey’s Belly can be understood as a story of first love, the wildest, the least domesticated, the most genuine one.’
Marina Penalva, said: ‘My head exploded when I read Andrea’s novel for the first time. It’s free and wild and it chimes with the current zeitgeist, and it is a huge honor that Lettice, one of the most talented young editors in the UK, will be bringing it to the world in English.’
Andrea Abreu (1995) is a published poet and journalist. She studied Cultural Journalism and has written for El País, BuzzFeed, and Vice., and is co-director of the Young Poetry Festival in Alcalá de Henares. Donkey’s Belly is her first novel..
Donkey’s Belly will be published by W&N in 2022 in hardback, ebook and audio.