Canongate has signed None of This is Serious, an “utterly compelling” debut novel by Irish author Catherine Prasifka.
Assistant editor Megan Reid and c.e.o. Jamie Byng acquired world rights, excluding North America, from Marianne Gunn O’Connor. Canongate will publish as its lead debut in April 2022.
The book was already won praise from Naoise Dolan who called it “extraordinary” while fellow author Louise Nealon said it was “a compulsively readable, fresh and painfully accurate description of the way we live now”.
Its synopsis states: “College is ending, and Sophie feels detached from her friends as they move on without her. She feels overshadowed by her best friend Grace, she’s been in love with Finn for as long as she’s known him, and she’s about to meet Rory – whom she likes because he’s available to her online, though she feels little for him in person. None of This Is Serious is about the uncertainty and absurdity of being alive today. It’s about balancing the real world with the online, and the vulnerabilities in yourself, your relationships, your body. Tender, funny and utterly compelling, at its heart this is a novel about female friendship, and the relationships that are strong enough to withstand anything.”
Dublin-born Prasifka studied English literature at Trinity College Dublin. She has competed in both the European Debating Championships and the World Championships and currently works as a creative writing teacher in Dublin.
She said: “I started writing None of This Is Serious before the pandemic, but it came alive during those endless lockdown days. I wanted the book to accurately represent what it means to be young right now, in an online world where reality is both elastic and malleable, when suddenly I became a spectator to a global event that forced me to rethink everything. The last year and a half have been unprecedented; I could never have predicted a global pandemic, but it seems equally improbable that I could have ended up where I am now, with such a supportive team at Canongate behind me and the book.”
Reid added: “None of This Is Serious is an addictive and unforgettable novel that has female friendship at its heart. I read it in a single sitting and just couldn’t put it down. The writing is so sharp and funny and poignant, and every detail is brilliantly observed – I loved it from the very first page. Catherine is a huge talent and I’m so thrilled that we are publishing her debut at Canongate.”
Byng commented: “Catherine Prasifka’s debut novel is so damn good. For starters, it has a voice that grabs you from the opening page and pulls you closer and closer as you keep turning, drawn deeper into Sophie’s world. It is also exceptionally well-observed. And it manages to be very entertaining and then very shocking. None of This Is Serious is a dazzling achievement and marks the arrival of a major new writer.”