Viking Penguin’s Vice-President and Executive Editor Pamela Dorman has just acquired the world rights to a new novel by Sue Monk Kidd from Virginia Barber of the William Morris Agency. The Mermaid Chair, set in and around a monastery on a small island along the coast of South Carolina, is the story of a married woman at mid-life who falls in love with a monk, and the complex entanglement of erotic and spiritual passions that play out as she awakens to a new life. The mermaid chair of the title is a carved wooden chair with winged mermaids on its arms that sits in a side chapel of the monastery and whose mystical and seductive powers have influenced the lives of those who sit in it. “This new novel promises to be a novel of real maturity, about a woman’s discovery of her true self, one that evolves through her experiences in both the sensual and spiritual realms, and that is, in fact, a combination of them both. I know it is going to be a book that speaks to Sue Monk Kidd’s deep talents as a writer,” said Dorman. The novel will be published Spring 2005.