Dialogue Books has acquired two new books by Green Carnation Prize-shortlisted author Niven Govinden, the first of which is about "protest, voguing, church and the erasure of queer lives".
The deal was struck by Dominic Wakeford, soon to move to the HQ imprint at HarperCollins, who bought UK and commonwealth rights in a novel, This Brutal House (to be published in hardback in Spring 2019), and a future work, from Lisa Baker at Aitken Alexander. The books will be published by Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books.
The book centres on the silent protest of five ageing ‘Mothers’, described as the guardians of the counter-cultural vogue ball community who have shaped the lives of countless ‘Children’ who have fled problematic homes to discover their gender and sexuality in the safe spaces of the ‘Houses’.
The Children have been going missing and their absences left stubbornly uninvestigated by the police. And so the Mothers have come to City Hall for one last effort: to pray silently, to protest their loss, refusing to leave until justice is served and their cause is acknowledged.
Govinden, its author, said he knew he’d need a "visionary" publisher and "an imprint with balls" to take it on.
“It took three years to write this novel of protest, voguing, church and the erasure of queer lives, during which time my mood veered from anger, despair, elation and hope,” he said. “I was very much aware that the book would need a publisher who not only understood both its specificity and universality, but whose own outlook was similarly visionary. I needed an imprint with balls. From my very first discussions with Dom Wakeford and Sharmaine Lovegrove, I instantly knew that I was home.”
Lovegrove called Govinden “an erudite writer who sharply transports us into vivid worlds” to which Wakeford added: “This Brutal House is a singular achievement by an extraordinary writer, and a timely story of outsiders banding together to fight a power far greater than themselves.”
Govinden is the author of four previous novels, most recently All The Days And Nights (The Friday Project) which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul (Canongate) is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer (The Friday Project) won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize.