Monica Ali

Books Jonny Geller, +44 (0)20 7393 4357 Email Jonny Geller

Untold Story

Curtis Brown Highlight Frankfurt book fair 2011
book | Fiction | 2011
UK → Doubleday
What if Princess Diana hadn't died? Diana's life and marriage were fairy tale and nightmare. Adored by millions, in her personal life she suffered heartbreak and betrayal. Within a life of privilege, she frequently felt trapped and alone. Constrained by protocol and precedent, she refused to follow the rules.

Untold Story takes the life of the world's most famous woman as a point of departure, examining the past and imagining a future. The fictional princess who is the novel's heroine is at breaking point and, believing that the Establishment is plotting her assassination, she makes an irrevocable decision: to stage her own death and begin a new life under an assumed identity. After a period of intense upheaval, Lydia (as she is known) settles in small town America and establishes a fragile peace. It is threatened by thoughts of what she has lost: not the glamour and glitz of royalty but that which is most precious - her children. She is, at least, safe in the knowledge - having altered her appearance and ten years after her 'death' - that her secret will never be uncovered. But then a chance encounter with a member of the paparazzi robs her of that certainty.

Will he recognize her? Should she flee or remain calm? Is there anyone she can trust and turn to, or will she inevitably be betrayed? Untold Story is a novel about family and friendship, intrigue and obsession, the meaning of identity, and the peculiar calamity of fame.


Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.

Film Rights


Contact Nick Marston for more information

Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for Untold Story


Translation Rights Sold

Lindhardt & Ringhof
Prometheus/Bert Bakker
Editions Belfond
Droemer Verlag
Il Saggiatore
Aschehoug & Co
Wydawnictwo Zysk i S-ka
Editora Rocco
Bertrand Editora
Litera International
AST Publishers
Duomo Ediciones
Untold Story
Untold Story

Monica Ali puts a literary gloss on a beachread subject Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly

Brilliant...Riveting to the end Karen Brady
Buffalo News

A great beach read...[Ali] is a gifted author Jane Buckingham
Good Morning America

Rich...heart-felt writing Ellen Kanner
Miami Herald

Higher-caliber writing Kristin Tillotson
Minneapolis Star Tribune

A thriller...The denouement of Untold Story is satisfyingly unpredictable and perplexing Judy Krueger
New York Journal of Books

An intriguing story filled with twists and turns Sharon Galligar
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Builds to a thrilling and rewarding finish…Daring and engrossing Kristine Huntley
Booklist (starred review)

A revelation...A compassionate portrait of the flawed and magnificent woman Donna Bailey Nurse
Globe and Mail (Canada)

Sensational...The psychologically suspenseful chapters show what Ali is capable of Dusan Petricic
Toronto Star

A sympathetic...insightful portrait of a woman held captive by the demons from her past Akin Ajayi
Jerusalem Post

A masterpiece of suspense…This is a startlingly intelligent, perceptive and entertaining piece of fiction. It's quite brilliant Henry Sutton
Daily Mirror (UK)

Untold Story is a superior thriller Philip Womack
Daily Telegraph

Ali's third-person princess is a very convincing and sympathetic figure…Extremely skillfully done Tibor Fischer

Absorbing…Ali has written a thoughtful book about a serious theme: the insanity of celebrity culture…But the artistry of Ali's execution justifies her risky choice of material…While reading this book, you genuinely feel she might still be out there somewhere David Free
Weekend Australian

Ali builds the tension masterfully… A compelling and intriguing look at celebrity and the media through a fascinating and complex character Lucy Clark
Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

An exciting psychological thriller with several unpredictable twists...Ali takes the testosterone-loaded concept of the stake-out and adds a feminine touch Michelle Griffin
Age (Australia)

Monica Ali has always been a brilliant and provocative writer, but Untold Story is not only a gripping read but a compassionate portrait of a woman in turmoil—her finest novel yet Gary Shteyngart
author of Super Sad True Love Story

A terrific, clever, multi-layered and subtle book (and let’s not forget - hugely entertaining! Joanne Harris
author of Chocolat

It is always said that Princess Diana was hunted and haunted, that her story contained the seeds of a contemporary myth. It was obvious that only the imagination of a first-rate novelist could master that material and make it fully and unforgettably alive. We now have the book we have been waiting for in Monica Ali's Untold Story. It is a beautiful, gripping accomplishment, a treat for the heart and the head, and will be a joy to readers who believe in the possibility that a book can transform your basic sense of life Andrew O'Hagan
Booker-shortlisted author of Our Fathers

Astonishing…Tightly structured and lyrically told Meredith Maran

Ms. Ali builds tension as slickly as any thriller screenwriter Michiko Kakutani
New York Times

An unapologetic hybrid of a novel, a literary examination of identity and a page-turning thriller, complete with car chase Sara Nelson
O, the Oprah magazine

A dazzling feat...All the pistons are firing Marie Arana
Washington Post

Haunting and intensely readable, this is something between a thriller and a ghost story Lady Antonia Fraser

Ali, a gorgeous stylist, has a wicked good time describing Grabowski in all his rumpled, greasy glory...Beautifully written and cleverly imagined Andrea Simakis
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Thoughtful, compassionate…A suspenseful and gripping read Suzi Feay
Financial Times

Irresistible...Lydia’s unsent letters...are delightful, containing the novel’s emotional core Curtis Sittenfeld
New York Times Book Review

Ali tells her story with unobtrusive, restrained prose...Remarkable...Astounding Martha McPhee
San Francisco Chronicle

One wonders, why didn’t someone write this novel sooner?...[Ali is] a true thriller writer Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times

Norman Rockwell couldn’t paint a more affectionate portrait of small-town America Deirdre Donahue
USA Today

it is a thoughtful, compassionate and utterly untrashy piece of work. It is also, in the last third especially, a suspenseful and gripping read Suzi Feay
Financial Times
Full Review

Clever is the word that kept coming to my mind as I read Untold Story. Clever idea, cleverly researched, cleverly done... Tibor Fischer
The Guardian
Full Review

Jonny Geller
+44 (0)20 7393 4357
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Amanda Urban
+1 212 556 5600
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Translation Rights
Kate Cooper
+44 020 7393 4425
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Theatre, Film and TV
Camilla Young
+44 (0)20 7393 4450
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Theatre, Film and TV
Katie Battcock
+44 (0)20 7393 4450
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Theatre, Film and TV
Nick Marston
+44 (0)20 7393 4450
Email Nick Marston