Cape pre-empts Megan Nolan's 'exhilarating' debut about toxic relationships

Cape pre-empts Megan Nolan's 'exhilarating' debut about toxic relationships

Irish writer Megan Nolan's debut novel has just sold to Jonathan Cape in a pre-empt.

Michal Shavit, publishing director at Jonathan Cape, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to a novel, Acts of Desperation, last week from Harriet Moore at David Higham in a pre-emptive deal. The debut will be published in spring 2021 with another, currently-untitled novel to follow.

Spanish rights have already been sold to Seix Barral, part of Grupo Planeta, there is an auction underway in Germany and the US, and offers received in Italy, Brazil, Serbia and Norway.

Cape said: “Acts of Desperation tells the story of a young woman as she relives her past affairs – in particular, one intensely toxic relationship with a beautiful but cruel man. Masterful and riveting, Acts of Desperation is a novel that interrogates what it means to be a woman addicted to love. How is it that a woman can still need the love of a man to make herself feel real? And what happens when, having finally won that love, she finds it offers no redemption? Exhilarating, painful, thrilling and devastating, Acts of Desperation portrays an extraordinary confrontation with the self and a love story that will at once make you wince in recognition and keep you spellbound as you read.”

Nolan was born in 1990 in Waterford, Ireland, and is currently based in London. Her writing includes essays, fiction and reviews which have been published widely including in the New York Times, the White Review, the Sunday Times, the Village Voice, the Guardian and in the literary anthology, Winter Papers. Regular columns of her cultural commentary appear in the i newspaper, Huck Magazine and the New Statesman.

Shavit said: “We’re incredibly excited to welcome Megan Nolan to Jonathan Cape. I have long admired her brilliantly witty and honest columns and articles and now this obliterating love story which completely bowled us over with its exploration of feminine desire, the addiction to love and the search for freedom. Here is a novelist with a voice that is so fresh, searching and addictive. I can’t wait to see this novel out in the world.”

Nolan said: “To have Acts of Desperation published by Jonathan Cape, with an editor as sharp and brilliant as Michal, is a dream come true. I have many people to thank for getting me to this position, but especially my magnificent agent and friend Harriet Moore, without whom this novel would never have been started, let alone completed.”