Corsair has acquired Johannesburg by Fiona Melrose for hardback publication in August 2017.
Johannesburg is Melrose’s second novel, following her highly acclaimed debut Midwinter, which has been longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. The paperback of Midwinter will be published in September 2017.
The book, described as "a searing hymn to an extraordinary city, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on love", seeks to emulate Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, accoring to Corsair, by following a polyphonic course across a single day in Johannesburg – the day Nelson Mandela’s death is announced.
Characters giving voice to the city, on a day hot with nerves and tension and history, include: an irascible mother, a returning daughter trying to navigate her past, a man haunted by his first love, their domestic workers, a homeless hunchback fighting for justice, a mining magnate, and a troubled novelist named Virginia.
Commissioning editor Sarah Castleton acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jo Unwin at Jo Unwin Literary Agency.