Borough Press signs Jeans' 'moving' tale of 'lavender marriage'

Borough Press signs Jeans' 'moving' tale of 'lavender marriage'

The Borough Press has signed a “hilarious, heart-breaking and sometimes utterly filthy” new book by Crystal Jeans.

Publishing director Suzie Dooré acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, for The Inverts from Sue Armstrong at C&W. It will be released in April 2021.

The synopsis explains: “The Inverts spans decades, from the Roaring Twenties to the present day, and focuses on the friendship between Bart and Bettina, who realise in their teens (via a disastrous kiss) that they are both gay. Entering into a ‘lavender marriage’ to avoid the scrutiny of both their families and society in general, they are soon caught up in a hedonistic lifestyle filled with parties and scandalous affairs – but their friendship will be tested by a violent tragedy.”

Dooré said: “I fell immediately in love with Bart and Bettina – they just leap off the page. The Inverts is hugely enjoyable – hilarious, heart-breaking and sometimes utterly filthy, with a compelling mystery at its core. I’ve never read anything like it, and I’m so pleased we’ll be publishing it – with such a gorgeous jacket, too!”

Jeans, who lives in Pontypridd, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize in 2017 with debut The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise (Honno Press).

She said: “I am delighted for the near-arrival of The Inverts and I couldn't be happier with the team at Borough Press responsible for making it happen (and my agent, Susan Armstrong for helping it find a home). Everyone has been bloody marvellous and I'm glad they loved Bart and Bettina, as much as I do. Clearly they have disgusting minds and awful morals. Huzzah!”

Armstrong added: “When The Inverts landed in my submissions, I had no idea I was about to meet two of the funniest, filthiest and most mesmerising duos I’ve ever come across: lifelong best friends and partners in crime, Bart and Bettina. Their story is as unique and glorious as it is moving and important and Crystal couldn’t have found a more perfect home than with Suzie and the Borough Press team.”