Coronet has snapped up the “big-hearted” debut novel from journalist Alice O’Keeffe, inspired by her experience of becoming a parent.
Hannah Black bought world English language rights from Kerry Glencorse at Susanna Lea Associates. On the Up will be published on 14th November.
Its synopsis explains: “Sylvia loves her not-quite-husband Obe and their two young children, but life is not turning out as she’d hoped. The council flat they live in feels smaller by the day and, now she’s lost her job, her dreams of a better life feel further away than ever. On the Up is a big-hearted, honest and subtly political portrait of modern family life.”
O’Keeffe is the former deputy editor of the Guardian's Saturday Review section, and writes book reviews, interviews and features for the Guardian, Observer and New Statesman. She has been a speechwriter at the Department for Education and literary programmer at the Brighton Festival.
She said: “On the Up was inspired by the exhilarating and terrifying experience of becoming a parent in our profoundly individualistic society. For me, motherhood was a deep education in how much we all depend on one another. It was a personal and political transformation, and only fiction could do it justice.”
Black added: “We’re delighted to be publishing Alice’s debut novel. She brilliantly tackles big and pressing themes with compassion and humour; from post natal depression and the wealth divide, to modern relationships and the struggle and joys of raising a young family in a world that feels fractured and indifferent. On the Up is a timely reminder of the transformative power of community and relationships.”