Faber has snapped up the rights to a debut Dutch novel by 28-year-old poet and dairy farmer Marieke Lucas Rijneveld following a three-way auction.
Former creative director Lee Brackstone acquired world English rights to The Discomfort of the Evening in a three-way auction from Atlas Contact in the Netherlands, before he left to head up a new imprint at Orion earlier this summer.
“The radical first novel by a celebrated young poet, The Discomfort of the Evening was a bestseller in the Netherlands where it won the prestigious ANV Debut Prize,” Faber said. “Set on a dairy farm, it follows a young girl called Jas whose world ruptures when her brother dies in an ice-skating accident, plunging the family into a darkness that threatens to derail them all.”
Translated by Michele Hutchison, the “Dutch sensation” will be Faber's lead literary debut and will be published on 19th March 2020. Faber is working closely with the Dutch Foundation for Literature on their New Dutch Writing campaign to bring the author on a UK tour.
Assistant editor Ella Griffiths said: “The Discomfort of the Evening is something special. Rijneveld has created a world of language unlike any other: her wild, striking imagery in all its horror and beauty will be imprinted on my mind forever. I can't remember the last time there has been so much in-house excitement about a debut novel - and we can't wait for others to experience it.”
Rijneveld grew up in a Reformed farming family in North Brabant before moving to Utrecht. Dubbed by Faber as “one of the most exciting new voices in Dutch literature, her debut poetry collection”, Calfskin, was awarded the C Buddingh’ Prize in 2015, with the newspaper de Volkskrant naming her literary talent of the year. Alongside her writing career, Rijneveld works on a dairy farm.
Foreign publishers for the novel so far include Suhrkamp in Germany, Nutrimenti in Italy, Libella in France, and GIMM-Young in Korea, with Arabic rights sold to Al Arabi and Spanish to Planeta Temas de Hoy.