W&N buys ‘astonishing’ debut

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired a debut novel by US journalist Rene Denfield.

Publishing director Kirsty Dunseath bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the novel, The Enchanted, from Bill Hamilton at A M Heath on behalf of Richard Pine at InkWell. W&N plans to publish in late spring 2014.

The book is set in a high security prison, and is narrated by a prisoner on death row who escapes his surroundings through immersing himself in books, and through re-imagining the world that surrounds him.

Dunseath said: "What is so striking in this book is that moments of sheer poetry are juxtaposed with the most horrible realities of prison life—the brutality and violence, the corruption and the way each prisoner must fight for their place in the hierarchy. It is a book about redemption, the humanity that can lie within what is monstrous, and the human capacity to transcend and survive.

"It really is an astonishing read."

Denfeld has written three non-fiction books, and is also a death penalty investigator and mitigation specialist.