Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired debut novel An Unremarkable Body by Elisa Lodato, ahead of Frankfurt Book Fair.
Arzu Tahsin bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Alice Lutyens at Curtis Brown to publish in December 2017.
The novel is a “redemptive” and ultimately “uplifting” book, looking back at the relationship between a mother and daughter, using findings from an autopsy as a springboard after the former is found dead at the foot of the stairs.
Tahsin, publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, said: "This book has the pace of a thriller and the heart of a memoir. Katharine is found dead at the foot of the stairs by her 30-year-old daughter Laura. The medical examiner’s report, in which precious parts of her mother’s body are weighed and categorised, motivates Laura to write her own version of events. To bear witness to the unbearable blank space between each itemised entry, what emerges is a picture of a woman silenced by her own mother and wronged by her husband, a woman who felt shackled by motherhood and unable to love freely. This is an exquisitely crafted story of a very ordinary woman, wife and mother who leads an extraordinary life in the tiniest sense. This is a big book about a small life."
Lutyens from Curtis Brown, said: "When I first read Elisa’s novel, the hairs stood up on my arms and I had that wonderful squiggly butterfly feeling. I am so excited that Weidenfeld feels the same as I do, and know the same will be true for many readers out there."
An Unremarkable Body was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award this year. Its author is an English teacher, prior to which Lodato worked as a strategist at Google UK for four years. She read English at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and An Unremarkable Body is her first novel.