Europa Editions is to publish American author Lillian Fishman's debut novel, Acts of Service, after triumphing in a "fiercely competitive auction".
The novel centres on Eve, a young queer woman in New York as she entangles herself in a clandestine three-way affair with a straight couple. As the relationship develops, readers are forced to re-examine preconceptions about sexuality, power, and moral responsibility.
Editorial director Christopher Potter and publisher Eva Ferri acquired UK rights in Acts of Service from Lucy Luck at C&W (on behalf of Dan Kirschen at ICM). Ferri acquired Italian rights for E/O Edizioni, Europa’s sister house.
North American rights were sold in a pre-empt to Parisa Ebrahimi at Hogarth Press. The novel has also been sold to Hoffman & Campe in Germany, Reservoir/PRH in Spain, Agora in Poland and Eksmo in Russia. All foreign rights deals were negotiated by Sophie Baker at Curtis Brown.
Fishman said: “I've always loved the books Europa publishes, and one of the exciting things about sending out Acts of Service was discovering the team behind them. It was clear to me from the beginning that Christopher and Eva really understood the novel, and knew how to talk about it better than I could. I couldn't be more excited for them to publish it.”
Publisher Eva Ferri said: “I had been looking for a novel like this one for quite some time. The experience of finding it and reading it – together with Christopher – has been one of the greatest in my years as a publisher, one which I treasure. I am confident that this beautiful book and its message will touch many hearts and inspire many minds for years to come. We are honoured to be Lillian’s publishers both in the UK and in Italy.”
Potter added: “I adore this novel. Lillian kept the faith with her characters right to the last word. Absolutely exhilarating.”
Acts of Service will be published in the UK early next year, simultaneously with Hogarth Press’ publication in US.