Atlantic seizes Arnott's 'brutal' coming-of-age novel

Atlantic seizes Arnott's 'brutal' coming-of-age novel

Atlantic has landed Robbie Arnott's "stunning" third novel Limberlost.

James Roxburgh, publishing director for Atlantic Fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The rights were sold by Francesca Davies at Lutyens & Rubinstein. Limberlost will be published in hardback and e-book in November 2022.

The novel is billed as "Ursula Le Guin meets Richard Flanagan in a gorgeous, casually brutal coming-of-age about fathers and sons, the animals we kill and those we care for, and the mysterious gravity of things we don’t understand".

Its synopsis explains: "In a small river valley, a teenage boy shoots rabbits and dreams of boats. Far away a devastating war is being waged, but here seasons pass, an orchard bears fruit, and an array of animals—some ordinary, some strange—come and go. The land on which Ned and his family live offers a cycle of death and rebirth, feast and famine.

"In Ned’s eyes, heroism and carefully measured violence are part of what it means to be a man. Kindness is a silent thing, a matter of small actions not spoken about. While Ned waits and hopes for his brothers to return from service overseas, he works ever more intently for the money that may buy him the means to sail the river."

Roxburgh said: "Robbie Arnott has written two books and each time has been listed for the Miles Franklin, one of the most important English-language awards in the southern hemisphere. It’s the cultural equivalent of being twice-listed for the Booker. It’s incredible confirmation of his talent, and the new one is further, stunning evidence. Limberlost possesses all the semi-mythic and dark textures of an Arnott novel, but also summons a powerful take on family and brotherhood, notions of masculinity and how they conflict with a precious environment. He’s sort of a Tasmanian Murakami, and we’re hugely proud that Atlantic Fiction continues to be his UK home."

Arnott is the author of the novel Flames, which won the Margaret Scott Prize, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and The Rain Heron, which won the Age Book of the Year 2021 and was shortlisted for Miles Franklin Literary Award. Both were published by Atlantic. He has been named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist.