Doubleday bags 'heart-wrenching' debut Shelf Life in 'speedy' pre-empt

Doubleday bags 'heart-wrenching' debut Shelf Life in 'speedy' pre-empt

Doubleday has pre-empted a debut novel from Tuscan writer and translator Livia Franchini, hailed "an exquisite, heart-wrenching story of a woman rebuilding herself on her own terms".

Her first book, Shelf Life, is about a 30-year old care-home nurse whose fiancé has just broken up with her and who decides to tell her story through the only thing she has left of him - their shared shopping list.

In a "speedy" pre-empt, Lizzy Goudsmit, commissioning editor at Transworld Publishers, acquired world rights to Shelf Life and an untitled second novel by Franchini from Zoe Ross at United Agents.

Goudsmit said: "I knew from the very first page that there was something incredibly special about Shelf Life. Ruth is in many ways a familiar character – a young woman struggling to feel at home in the world – and yet her perspective is fresh and original. Livia is an incredibly talented writer with sharp, insightful prose and a real intensity, and I am so excited to be publishing her debut."

Franchini is currently living in London where she is completing a PhD in experimental women’s writing at Goldsmiths University. She said: "Shelf Life is a book that is very close to my heart, so I was thrilled to find out that Lizzy had immediately connected with it and was excited to champion its formal premise. I am really looking forward to be working with her and the team at Doubleday, and deeply moved to know my work has found the perfect home."

Doubleday will publish in hardback in August 2019.