Faber acquires Magee's 'masterclass' novel

Faber acquires Magee's 'masterclass' novel

Faber has landed The Colony, a "masterclass in belonging and loss" from former Women's Prize for Fiction shortlistee Audrey Magee. 

Louisa Joyner acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Peter Straus at RCW Literary Agency, while American rights have been placed with Jenna Johnson at FSG. Faber will publish on 3rd February.

The novel follows two men who arrive on an island, with the intention of documenting its culture through their chosen medium. The synopsis explains: "Mr Lloyd has decided to travel to the island by boat without engine—the authentic experience. Unbeknown to him, Mr Masson will also soon be arriving for the summer. Both will strive to encapsulate the truth of this place—one in his paintings, the other with his faithful rendition of its speech, the language he hopes to preserve.

"But the people who live here on this rock—three miles long and half-a-mile wide—have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken and what is given in return. Over the summer each of the women and men in the household this French and Englishman join is forced to question what they value and what they desire. At the end of the summer, as the visitors head home, there will be a reckoning."

Joyner said: "To publish Audrey Magee is definitely a publishing highlight for me. She marries the cleanest prose with devastating narrative force and her work has a philosophical and political depth you'd need a plumbline to measure accurately. She is surely a literary star in the ascendant and it's a real joy and a privilege to welcome her to Faber."

Magee's first novel, The Undertaking (Atlantic), was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2014, for France’s Festival du Premier Roman and for the Irish Book Awards. It was also nominated for the Dublin Literary Award and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The Undertaking has been translated into 10 languages and is being adapted for film.

"It is a delight and honour to work with Louisa Joyner and the brilliant team at Faber, the imprint of my formative reading, as well as with Jenna Johnson and the terrific crew at FSG," Magee said. "From the beginning, Louisa, Jenna and my wonderful agent Peter Straus, understood the ambition and intention of The Colony, a novel that I hope will contribute to the discussion on what it means to be the colonised and the coloniser."

Johnson added: "The Colony stops you short with its originality and its nuanced portrait of the webs, linking us all, left across the globe by colonialism. It is enchanting even as it breaks long-cast spells, again and again. We can't wait to introduce it to readers here."