Faber and Faber will publish a "lost" horror novel by the late American writer William Gay.
Editorial director Angus Cargill bought the UK rights from Clare Conville at Conville & Walsh.
Cargill said: “On Friday 31st October last year I was sent a manuscript entitled Little Sister, Death - by our late author William Gay - a novel which we did not previously know about the existence of. You only need to read a very few pages of Little Sister, Death to know you’re in the hands of a master, and if it’s one you have the stomach for. We will publish for Halloween this year to mark what would have been William’s 74th birthday.”
Dzanc Books has acquired the book in the US and will also publish it on 31st October.
Little Sister, Death takes its inspiration from the 19th century Bell Witch haunting of Tennessee, before the story moves into the late 20th century, where a troubled writer moves to a haunted farmstead. Cargill described it as “a sublime piece of writing - with a terrifying fore-shadow of a first chapter”.
He added: “Beautifully written and structured, it is a loving and faithful addition to the field of classic horror, eschewing any notions of irony or post-modern tricks as it aims, instead, straight for your soul. It is a novel we hope - in the wake of recent successes such as The Babadook and N0S4R2 - to make the horror moment of 2015.”
Conville said: “It was so exciting to be told a lost manuscript by the late master of Southern Gothic William Gay had been discovered among his papers. I read Little Sister, Death in one sitting and found it brilliantly constructed, utterly engrossing and deeply frightening. It is thrilling to think that a new generation of readers can now discover William’s work for themselves.”
Little Sister, Death will be followed by Gay’s final novel, The Lost Country, in late 2016.