Indie start-up publisher Orenda Books has acquired a debut novel by playwright and short story writer Louise Beech.
How to be Brave is described by Orenda Books publisher Karen Sullivan as a “stunning first novel” and was inspired by Louise’s own struggle with her daughter’s illness and the true story of her grandfather’s extraordinary ordeal at sea in 1943, when his ship was torpedoed and he survived for 50 days on a lifeboat in the south Atlantic. Sullivan acquired world rights directly from the author.
Beech, who works as a front of house usher at Hull Truck Theatre (where her first play was performed in 2012) and for BBC Radio Humberside, has previously won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as being shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Luke Bitmead Bursary.
Sullivan said: “This is an exquisitely written book, haunting and deeply moving – majestically weaving together past and present, as a mother reconnects with her daughter through the medium of storytelling. I am thrilled to be publishing Louise, and know she has a great career in front her.”
How to be Brave will be published in Autumn 2015.
Since launching in October last year, Orenda Books has also acquired novels from Kati Hiekkapelto, Gunnar Staalesen, David F. Ross, Ragnar Jónasson and Paul E Hardisty.