HarperCollins Publishers Australia is celebrating a major milestone for Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, which has now sold over 100,000 copies across all formats in Australia alone since its publication in July 2018.
Dalton’s debut novel has been embraced by readers around Australia and is now attracting critical acclaim – it was recently shortlisted for the 2019 Indie Book Awards and last week it was announced as the winner of the 2019 MUD Literary Prize. Boy Swallows Universe has also become an international publishing phenomenon – due to be published in across all of the major publishing territories, and in more than 28 languages, with more deals to be announced in the near future, including for screen and theatre rights.
Catherine Milne, Head of Fiction at HarperCollins says, ‘It is just a joy to watch so many people – in Australia and around the world – fall in love with such a special novel. Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe is a glorious, big-hearted, irresistible Australian classic, which is going to be loved by readers for years to come.’
ABOUT THE BOOK
Boy Swallows Universe is a captivating coming-of-age story set in Brisbane’s violent working-class suburban fringe, inspired by the real-life events of journalist Trent Dalton’s complicated youth. It tells the story of twelve-year-old Eli Bell, who finds comfort in his extraordinary imagination as a means of escaping from his challenging life with a mute brother, a mother in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter.
Surrounded by chaos and with very little moral guidance from the adults around him, Eli sets out on an ambitious suburban odyssey that sees him meet the father he doesn’t remember, break into Boggo Road Gaol to rescue his mum, come face to face with the criminals who tore his world apart, and fall in love with the girl of his dreams.
At its core, Boy Swallows Universe is a story of brotherhood and the spark of young love; it’s also the unlikely true story of the formative friendship Dalton shared with Arthur ‘Slim’ Halliday, the greatest escape artist ever confined to Brisbane’s Boggo Road Gaol.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trent Dalton is a staff writer for the Weekend Australian Magazine and a former assistant editor of The Courier Mail. He’s a two-time winner of a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, a four-time winner of a Kennedy Award for Excellence in NSW Journalism and a four-time winner of the national News Awards Features Journalist of the Year.