Faber relaunches Golding's 'trailblazing' novels with Mosse and Okri forewords

Faber relaunches Golding's 'trailblazing' novels with Mosse and Okri forewords

Faber is relaunching a string of William Golding’s novels, with new forewords by authors including Ben Okri, Marlon James and Kate Mosse.

The publisher's creative director Donna Payne has spearheaded the project, and has commissioned illustrator Bill Bragg to create new artwork and branding for the cover designs, which will be laid out as B-format paperbacks.

The first three titles—The Inheritors, Pincher Martin and The Spire—will be released in October 2021 to coincide with the Nobel Prize ceremony, with new forewords by Okri, James and Benjamin Myers respectively. Other confirmed introducers include Annie Proulx, Nicola Barker, Bettany Hughes and Helen Castor.

Lord of the Flies, Darkness Visible and The Double Tongue will be released in January 2022; Rites of Passage, Close Quarters and Fire Down Below  in April; Free Fall and The Scorpion God in July; and The Pyramid and The Paper Men in November.

The reissues will be promoted with a campaign showcasing archival materials, and a special event will be held at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on 13th October.

Golding’s work has been translated into 44 languages across the world. Recently, Lord of the Flies has been sold in new languages for the first time, including Armenian, Indonesian, Kazakh, Malay, Mongolian and Thai. 

Faber Audio editor Catherine Daly has also commissioned new unabridged recordings of Pincher Martin, read by Julian Sands, and The Inheritors, narrated by David Dawson, to join the existing recording of The Spire, read by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Publisher Alex Bowler and editor Ella Griffiths said: "Provocative, profound, disturbing, Golding is an essential moral and literary companion to the 20th century. And now, in our own dystopian age, his insights into humanity, nature, warfare, religion, civilisation and history couldn’t be more urgent. This striking new aesthetic and these fantastic introducers will celebrate Golding as a trailblazing thinker and stylist, encouraging new generations to read beyond his iconic Lord of the Flies as well as reconnecting with his millions of devoted fans." 

Golding was born in Cornwall and educated at Marlborough Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford. Before becoming a writer, he was an actor, small-boat sailor, musician and schoolteacher. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and took part in the D-Day operation and liberation of the Netherlands. Lord of the Flies, his first novel, was rejected by several publishers but rescued from the "reject pile" at Faber and published in 1954. He won the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983. 

William Golding Limited said: "We are delighted that Faber is relaunching the work of William Golding. We are particularly pleased that the emphasis is on novels he wrote after Lord of the Flies, many of which are still more radical and innovatory than their celebrated predecessor. Golding’s portrayal of human frailty as well as his prescient awareness of environmental destruction are all too relevant today."