Atlantic Books is to publish Consensual Hex, described as My Sister, the Serial Killer meets "The Craft", by Amanda Harlowe.
Editor Poppy Mostyn-Owen acquired UK Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Harlowe's debut novel from Ben Fowler from Abner Stein, on behalf of Lucy V Cleland at Kneerim & Williams. It will be published in hardback and e-book on 8th October 2020. Atlantic will be creating an "eye-catching" publicity and marketing campaign for Consensual Hex this autumn.
"When Lee, a first-year university student, is sexually assaulted by a boy on a neighbouring campus, she struggles to figure out what to do next," reads the synopsis. "It’s her word against his, and something tells her he’s done this – and got away with it – many times before. She feels powerless, but that changes when she finally opens up to a favourite professor and discovers that not only does her confidant lead the gender studies module but… she’s also a kick-ass alpha witch. Sorcery, it turns out, is one of the darker liberal arts. Lee is speedily recruited into a coven with three other classmates, and together they form a tight-knit band, helping each other balance their medieval careers with their Millennial sensibilities, their wiccanism with their wokeness."
Harlowe was born in Manhattan, grew up in Boston and attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, whose alumni include Sylvia Plath, Gloria Steinham and Julia Child—where the book is set. She said: "I am overjoyed for Consensual Hex to join Atlantic’s phenomenal list and to have the opportunity to work with my wonderful editor Poppy and Atlantic's fantastic team. I am beyond grateful to Atlantic, Poppy, Lucy Cleland of Kneerim & Williams, and Ben Fowler of Abner Stein for helping me to bring the coven to readers thousands of miles away from its Northampton origins."
Mostyn-Owen added: "What I admire so much about Amanda Harlowe, and about this book, is the ability to find levity in genuine trauma. Consensual Hex’s pages are filled with dark magic (and darker humour) – like 'Fight Club' but with fewer men and many more spells. I am utterly thrilled to welcome its wit and provocation to Atlantic’s fiction list."