Chatto & Windus has signed a deal with Ordinary People author Diana Evans for a new novel and her first essay collection.
Editorial director Poppy Hampson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada, including audio, from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander Associates.
Evans' previous novel Ordinary People (Vintage) was shortlisted for last year's Women’s Prize, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and won the South Bank Sky Arts Award. It is is currently being adapted by Rhashan Stone for House Productions and is in development with the BBC.
Evans said her new novel “is positioned within the same milieu as Ordinary People, bringing to visibility the everyday lives of London’s black and multiracial middle-class communities, too little witnessed in British fiction and TV culture”.
Her first collection of new and previously published essays will cover cultural criticism, social commentary and memoir from reading John Updike and James Baldwin to dancing like Beyoncé, being a lone twin, the writing life, the relationship between narrative and truth, and more.
Chatto said: “These essays will span both the public and private realms in exploring themes of childhood and parenthood, feminism and contemporary female experience, race and mixed-race identity, death, grief, alienation and mental health—many of the same concerns to be found in her fiction.”
Hampson explained: “Diana Evans has become a writer we turn to for non-fiction that helps us to understand our world (whether that’s lockdown, or literature) and we are completely delighted to have her first book of essays to look forward to. And after the huge success of Ordinary People, a book that I love so much, I can’t think of anything better than a new novel from Diana that takes us back to a similar world. We are so lucky to be her publishers.”