Head of Zeus has snapped up Irish author Alice Ryan’s début novel, a “poignant examination of grief” based partly on the author’s experience of the tragic death of her mother a decade ago.
Editor Clare Gordon acquired world English-language rights for There’s Been a Little Incident from Sheila Crowley and Emily Harris at Curtis Brown. The novel centres around the eccentric Black family. When flighty Molly goes missing, the family convenes in Dublin for an emergency meeting and “must decide whether to try and find her, or if—at nearly 30—it’s time to let her go”.
Ryan grew up in Dublin and was The Bookseller’s conferences and community manager before becoming head of insight at BBC Studios. She now works in policy development for the Arts Council of Ireland. Ryan said: “Following the tragic death of my mum, writing became an act of hope. I wrote what I hoped would happen. The Black family suffers terrible loss but somehow they manage to keep hold of each other—through grit, perseverance and industrial-sized lasagnes.”
Head of Zeus has scheduled the novel for release in September 2022. Gordon said There's Been a Little Incident "completely plunges you into a world and a family, through the euphoric good times and through the difficult moments you feel you’ll never escape from alone. It’s at times funny, devastating and heartwarming, and always compelling and relatable. I fell in love with Molly Black and her wonderful, chaotic family, and I can’t wait to share them with the world".