Daunt Books acquires debut novel from poet Marsman

Daunt Books acquires debut novel from poet Marsman

Daunt Books Publishing has acquired a debut novel by Dutch poet Lieke Marsman.

Publisher Željka Marošević acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for The Opposite of a Person from Lisette Verhagen at Peters Fraser & Dunlop. It will be translated by Sophie Collins and published on the Daunt Originals list.

According to the synopsis: “The Opposite of a Person is a bold and original novel about climate change and care, which has been compared to Jenny Offill and Rachel Cusk. Ida, a young climatologist, embarks on an internship at an institute tasked with demolishing a dam in the Italian Alps. The job forces her to leave her country and her girlfriend behind, causing her to reflect on climate change, love, and why we find it so hard to protect the things we value the most. Exploring how the individual relates to the complexity of the modern world, the novel mixes fiction with poetry and the essay form.”

Marsman published her first poetry collection Things That I Tell Myself in 2010 when she was 20. In 2018 she was diagnosed with bone cancer and in the months following the diagnosis she wrote The Following Scan Will Last Five Minutes (Liverpool University Press), which was translated into English by poet Sophie Collins.The Opposite of a Person is her first novel and was shortlisted for the ECI Literature Prize.

Marošević said: “Lieke’s writing is bold and invigorating, and shook me out of my lockdown stupor. I knew within minutes of reading that I wanted to publish The Opposite of a Person. Ida’s voice is curious and questioning, asking important questions about how we care about each other and the planet. Sophie’s translations are sensitive, inventive and impressive and I’m thrilled that she’ll be translating this novel into English.”

Marsman added: “The Opposite of a Person is a prose-poetry-essay hybrid on climate change and loneliness. I'm super-thrilled that it’s going to be published in English by Daunt Books.”