Fourth Estate has picked up Hourglass, the “exquisite” debut novel from Keiran Goddard.
Editorial director Anna Kelly acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the debut novel from Clare Conville at the C&W Agency, for publication in March 2022.
Hourglass is billed as “a short, exquisite novel about the trajectory of a relationship, from the heady intensity of its early days to its painful disintegration, the anguish of loss and everything that comes afterwards”.
Kelly explained: “Hourglass is a love story, but it’s also a philosophical novel in which the love story gives form to all of the most powerful feelings we experience as humans. It’s a meditation on yearning, loss, time, work, class, beauty, meaning and the unquenchable desire for connection with others. It’s heartfelt, profound and ridiculously funny, written with a poet’s attention to craft, a novelist’s gift for storytelling and a gloriously absurd imagination that is all Keiran’s own.”
Birmingham-born Goddard is a poet whose 2014 debut collection For the Chorus (Eyewear) was shortlisted for the Melita Hulme Prize and he was the runner up in the William Blake Prize. He is the author of a number of academic articles, speaks internationally on issues relating to social change, has previously worked in academia and currently focuses on developing research related to workers' rights, the future of work, automation and trade unionism.
He said: “I am thrilled to be working with Anna and the wider team at Fourth Estate, which publishes a number of authors I have admired for most of my adult life, and has shown incredible belief in the novel from the outset. Hourglass is a book about love, labour and loss... and it means the world to me to have the chance to share it as widely as possible.”