Brazil-set novel with 'huge ambition' to 4th Estate

Brazil-set novel with 'huge ambition' to 4th Estate

4th Estate has signed a “small novel with huge ambition” set in Brazil.

Feast Days from American author Ian MacKenzie is about a bored young wife of a banker in São Paolo.

4th Estate's commissioning editor Anna Kelly bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Feast Days from Sophie Lambert at C+W on behalf of Anna Stein at ICM. It will be published on 26th July.

“Already gathering impassioned praise in the US”, according to a HarperCollins spokesperson, it is described as a short novel about a young woman who follows her banker husband to São Paolo and finds her listless, privileged life there in stark contrast with the poverty and growing social unrest around her. As the atmosphere around her in São Paolo becomes increasingly tense, so the narrator’s marriage seems more and more fragile.

"In Feast Days, Ian MacKenzie has created an unforgettable narrative voice: ironic, witty, cool and detached, and yet simultaneously coursing with yearning,” Kelly said. “He has a gift for infusing apparently ordinary moments with uncanny depths of pathos and emotion, and he writes so convincingly from a female perspective that at first I found it slightly difficult to believe that this novel was written by a man.”

She said that through “tackling themes like inequality, modernity, globalisation, marriage, language and morality, Feast Days is a small novel with huge ambition – a triumph of empathy and imagination”.

Washington-based MacKenzie added: “I am delighted to see Feast Days published with Anna Kelly and Fourth Estate. Anna's intelligence and enthusiasm are truly impressive, and I am struck by the quality and care of the books from Fourth Estate.”

Mackenzie was born and raised in Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard College, and has lived in New York City, Ethiopia, and Brazil.