Canongate has acquired a debut novel set in 1930s Britain by stand-up poet Tim Clare.
Assistant editor Jo Dingley signed World rights in the book, titled The Honours, from Sophie Lambert at Conville and Walsh.
The Honours follows a young girl named Delphine as she tries to discover the secrets of an elite society that has taken in her mother and unstable father, and finds that the hidden world she uncovers is far more menacing than she ever could have imagined.
Dingley said: “The Honours invites you to enter a thrilling, dark and fantastical world, brought to life by Tim’s truly incredible writing. The best way I can describe my first experience of reading The Honours is that it felt like stuffing my face with the richest, darkest most delicious fruitcake ever made. I am utterly delighted to be publishing Tim and to be able to introduce readers to Delphine.”
Editorial director for Fiction, Louisa Joyner, commented: “Tim Clare’s novel is as brilliantly original as it is darkly compelling and I am in love with Delphine. She’s a proper twenty-first-century heroine. Not something we get to say nearly often enough.”
Clare is a performance poet based in the UK. He heads up Homework, a regular poetry night in Bethnal Green and has performed nationwide at festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe. His 2005 memoir, We Can't All Be Astronauts (Ebury Press), won the prize for best memoir/biography at the East Anglian Book Awards.
He said: “Delphine is all about chutzpah, big dreams and rebelliousness, so it feels like the perfect fit.”