Bodley Head signs Nat Segnit on the lure of retreat

Rights - NonFiction Thursday, 11 October 2018

Segnit explores subject many book trade people will find appealing after this week


In a deal that may offer an antidote to the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bodley Head publisher Stuart Williams has signed a UK and Commonwealth deal for Retreat by Nat Segnit, pre-empting rights within 24 hours of receiving the proposal. The agent was Will Francis at Janklow & Nesbit.

Informed by the author's own attraction to and fear of solitude and isolation, Retreat (early 2020) will ask how extended periods of meditation alter the neurochemistry of the brain. What is the long term emotional effect of retreat? And is isolation a means of engaging more fully with reality, or of evading it?

Segnit is an Anglo-American writer and journalist based in London. He is lead fiction reviewer for the TLS and writes short fiction and long-form non-fiction for the New Yorker and Harper's. His first novel, Pub Walks in Underhill Country, was published by Penguin in 2013 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. This will be his first non-fiction book.

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