HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate has signed My Absolute Darling, a debut novel from American author Gabriel Tallent, after an eight-way auction.
Helen Garnons-Williams, publishing director at Fourth Estate, acquired UK rights from Anthony Goff at David Higham on behalf of Joy Harris in the US.
My Absolute Darling is the story of Turtle Alveston, “a girl who grows up in thrall to her father, a reclusive autodidact and survivalist determined at all costs to keep his daughter close."
The publisher said: "Deeply loyal to the man who both controls her and teaches her, Turtle has been raised to see the world from his warped perspective. But she has also been raised with remarkable survival skills and when the emotional defences she has erected to keep others out are breached by people who begin to care for her, Turtle must call on all those skills - in acts of extraordinary physical and emotional courage - to escape the orbit of her father and embark on her journey towards freedom.”
Garnons-Williams said: “I can't remember when I last came across a novel that provokes such a visceral response in its readers. Embedded in the Northern Californian landscape, My Absolute Darling is a beautifully written, electrifying debut, and Turtle - psychologically complex, fierce, haunted and with steely determination - is an absolutely unforgettable character.”
Fourth Estate will publish My Absolute Darling in 2017.