Faber & Faber has acquired an "astonishing" debut short story collection by the critic Chris Power.
Assistant editor Emmie Francis bought UK & Commonwealth rights to the collection Mothers, plus a novel, from Jack Ramm at The Eve White Literary Agency.
Mothers brings together stories featuring men and women trying to "excavate their pasts and to make order out of their present" – whether at ancient Swedish burial sites, river crossings on Exmoor, or "intoxicating" Mexican weddings. Central to the collection is a triptych of stories about a woman called Eva, whose life radiates into the lives of others.
Francis said: "Chris is the real deal. He has been compared to Alice Munro and Peter Stamm, and these stories came to me garlanded with praise from Jon McGregor and Yiyun Li. But accolades aside, when I read his stories, I was held hostage – blissfully – by their precision and craft. This collection is a work of both savage profundity and tender touch. They show a writer completely in control of his material and herald the start of what I think will be an extraordinary trajectory as an author at Faber."
Power has been published in The White Review, Stinging Fly and the Dublin Review. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the New Statesman.
Faber will publish Mothers in 2018.