The Borough Press has landed a "compulsive" and "creepy" literary debut from writer Adorah Nworah.
Editor Ore Agbaje-Williams acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, for House Woman from Ben Fowler at Abner Stein, on behalf of Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. It will publish in the UK in spring 2023; Unnamed Press will publish in autumn 2022 in the US.
The publisher said: "House Woman tells the story of Divine, a young woman who is sent to the US from Nigeria to marry a man named Nna, and live with him and his parents. What begins as a simple transaction between families turns out to be something far more sinister; as a darkness emerges between herself and her new family, Divine is forced to reckon with whether she has what it takes to free herself once and for all".
Nworah is a storyteller from eastern Nigeria who also works as a lawyer. Her short stories have been featured in literary magazines including AFREADA and adda, and two of them – "The Bride" and "Broken English" — were respectively shortlisted for the 2019 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize and longlisted for the 2018 Short Story Day Africa Prize.
Agbaje-Williams said: ‘‘Every time I think about House Woman, I’m reminded of what an accomplishment it is. To be humorous, insightful, and very, very creepy with such an incredible narrative voice is truly a rare thing, and Adorah is a rare writer. I cannot wait for readers to discover what a unique, compulsive and brilliant read House Woman is."
Nworah added: "The most compelling horror stories hide in plain sight, and House Woman is my tribute to the art. It is boy meets girl with a twist. A portrait of two Nigerian families with a bond as deep and as twisted as their motivations. I’m extremely fortunate to have the guidance of Ore Agbaje-Williams on House Woman, and to be joining the Borough Press team!"