Two fiction deals and one non-fiction
Candida Lacey at Myriad has won a "closely fought" auction to sign a new novel by Manu Joseph, who has been shortlisted for the Man Asian prize, the DSC prize, and the Everyman Wodehouse prize for a comic novel. Myriad has UK and Commonwealth rights (exc India and Canada) in Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous through Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann.
Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous is about ordinary people caught up in an anti-terrorist operation after a Mumbai building collapses. Lacey said: "Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous is a cracking novel. It is a joy to read, and every bit as beguiling and surprising as its title. Cunning, sympathetic and fiercely original, it is a perfect fit for the bold and diverse fiction list we're developing with our partners at New Internationalist. We're thrilled and very proud to be publishing such a magnificent and deservedly lauded novelist."
Joseph said: "I feel blessed to find a British publisher who is able to see both the Indianness of the novel and the universality of its themes."
Dixon said: "I was thrilled to hear about Myriad's collaboration with New Internationalist, as I've long admired Candida Lacey's publishing and think this is a perfect partnership - and now Manu Joseph's profound, wry and fierce novel has found a perfect UK home."
Lacey has bought world rights directly from the author Ruth Figgest (left) in Magnetism, a chapter from which was runner-up at the 2012 Bridport Prize, judged by Patrick Gale. Set in the American mid- and south-west, Magnetism (2018) opens in 1976, when teenager Erica is in a psychiatric hospital following a suicide attempt, jumps to the present day, and then moves backwards in time to explore a mother-daughter relationship. Lacey said: "Crackling with energy and wit, the novel captures the exacting rhythm and beat of this mother-daughter bond, the significant shifts in their relationship, why they made the choices they did and became the people they are. It is ripe with humour, and tender as well as ruthless. Brutally honest, horribly funny and unexpectedly uplifting, it is an extraordinary debut."
The non-fiction acquisition is What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali (right), a "game-changing" book that looks at sexual assault and the global discourse on rape from the viewpoint of a survivor, writer, counsellor and activist. Abdulali draws on her own experience, her work with hundreds of survivors as the head of a rape crisis centre in Boston, her research, and three decades of grappling with the issue personally and professionally. Lacey, who bought world rights directly from the author, said: "This is a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, literary, thoughtful, provocative and intelligent look at sexual assault and the global discourse on rape. It is both deeply personal and meticulously researched. It is a rallying cry and will be required reading for us all." Myriad will publish in January 2019.