And Other Stories acquires West's 'grimly hilarious' debut

And Other Stories acquires West's 'grimly hilarious' debut

Independent press And Other Stories has acquired My Father’s Diet, the "sharp-fanged" debut novel from US author and translator Adrian Nathan West.

The novel is set in a broken-down Middle American town, and follows the the disintegration of a struggling family through the "cold eyes" of its only son. The synopsis explains: "While studying at the local community college to finish his degree, he works what his divorced parents deem to be menial jobs and tries to stay out of their way, keeping his pitiless observations about their lives to himself. He says nothing about his semi-estranged father’s doomed attempts to find meaning in strip-mall spirituality.

"He says nothing about his mother’s willingness to subjugate herself to men he deems unworthy. He says nothing about the anonymity and emptiness to which their social classes and places of birth seem to have condemned everyone he knows, robbing them of even the vocabulary to express their grievances. He says nothing about his own pity, disgust, compassion, tenderness and love—and when his father enters a bodybuilding competition, he swallows his scorn and agrees to help."

Senior editor Jeremy Davies acquired world rights directly from the author. Davies said: "Adrian Nathan West has got the lowest bullshit quotient of anyone I've ever worked with in the strange business of literary publishing. As a critic and translator, he's been keeping me honest for years. It's a delight and a privilege to have had a hand in getting his coruscating and sharp-fanged fiction out into the world at last."

West said: "There are many personal reasons why it’s a pleasure to be published by And Other Stories, but above all I have to stress their willingness to look beyond nation and language and to assemble their own peculiar canon of writers across the world. I felt that my book was chosen not because it fit with some preconceived notion of what is hot or timely, but because it complemented voices from many countries and languages."

My Father’s Diet will be published simultaneously by And Other Stories in the UK, Europe and North America on 1st February 2022.