Chatto & Windus will publish Anna Glendenning's debut, An Experiment in Leisure, in June 2021.
Poppy Hampson, editorial director, acquired world rights from Eleanor Birne at PEW Literary.
Set in 2015, the debut will follow Grace, who is supposed to have everything she wants after swapping West Yorkshire for north London with a Cambridge degree under her belt. However, her fantasy of city life is turning out to be more costly than she thought, and Grace is running out of credit. She is adrift from her mother and twin sister and finds herself fleeing up and down a country on the verge of an intractable schism, and begins to reckon with her own divisions.
Hampson said: "This wonderful debut brings us an unforgettable voice and a tender portrait of youth, at the same time as probing some of the urgent questions facing us today: the emotional costs of social mobility, the possibilities of leaving and returning, the meanings of work… it’s thoughtful, clever and loveable. I feel so lucky to have new star Anna Glendenning on the Chatto list."
Glendenning commented: "I’m chuffed to bits to be working with Poppy and the team at Chatto. It’s such a privilege to be part of an imprint whose authors have given me so much—and with a team who bring along such fun, flair and wisdom. I’m excited for this tale, a twist on the (almost) prodigal child trying to get home, to make its way into the world..."
Glendenning was formally an editor at And Other Stories and currently works as a researcher and writer at Kew Gardens.