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Simon & Schuster Australia Acquires World Rights to The Understudy by Julie Bennett

Simon & Schuster has secured world rights to a stunning new Australian historical fiction novel, The Understudy, by debut author Julie Bennett. 


The Understudy is set in 1973, the year the Opera House opened. Two days before opening night, the female lead disappears and the understudy steps in, winning the hearts of the audience and her male lead. But suspicion soon lands on her and the mystery unravels as we go back in time and learn about the female lead’s past from her perspective. 


The book was acquired by Fiction Publisher Cassandra Di Bello who said: ‘I couldn’t be more thrilled to be welcoming Julie Bennett to the Simon and Schuster family.’


The Understudy is an addictive read that delves into the gritty underbelly of the Australian theatre world and makes you wonder just how dangerous ambition can be. Brimming with vivid scenes of Sydney’s streets in the 1970s and packed full of unexpected twists, this novel will have readers racing through the pages (and probably rushing to buy tickets to the next opera!)’


Author Julie Bennett started her career working in libraries before becoming a former finance journalist and editor. Her father had a thirty year opera career and was a permanent cast member of the Australian Opera Company (now Opera Australia). 


‘I’m excited to have Simon & Schuster and the amazing Cassandra Di Bello take me on the journey to publishing The Understudy. It was such an experience to write not only about the drama and glamour of opera, but to also dip into the back streets of Sydney in the turbulent 1970s. I thank Cass and Simon & Schuster for their faith in me.’
The Understudy will be published in all formats in 2022. 

For more information, contact:
Anabel Pandiella
Tel: 0412 699 556