Bloomsbury pre-empts Lisa Harding's 'beautiful' portrait of addiction

Bloomsbury pre-empts Lisa Harding's 'beautiful' portrait of addiction

Bloomsbury has pre-empted Lisa Harding’s second novel about a failed actress struggling with motherhood and addiction.

Publishing director Alexis Kirschbaum pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada to Bright Burning Things from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander.

Slated for publication in 2021, it is billed by Bloomsbury as “a novel about motherhood and addiction… told from the point of view of Sonya, a failed actress who uses alcohol to deflect childhood trauma and mask her failure to take care of her young son”.

The Dublin-based author’s previous novel, Harvesting (New Island Books), portrayed two young friends caught up in the underground world of sex-trafficking in Dublin. It was nominated for the Newcomer of the Year award at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017 and has been optioned by Out of Orbit films, to be directed by Michael Lennox, director of “Derry Girls”.

Harding, also an actress and playwright, said: "I have written a novel about maternal alcoholism, love and responsibility. I knew it would not be for everyone, but in Alexis I have found a fearless editor and champion, and it’s a huge honour to be taken on by Bloomsbury, which produces beautiful, thought-provoking books, including many of my favourites of all time."

Kirschbaum said: "Bright Burning Things portrays a difficult narrator with whom I fell in love. Lisa Harding is a scorching talent, and in this novel she has crafted a beautiful and artful portrait of a woman at the mercy of addiction, at a time in her life when vulnerability has enormous consequences."