Faber has acquired the latest novel from British author Peter Hobbs, whose début scooped a Betty Trask Prize.
Editorial director Lee Brackstone bought world English language rights to In The Orchard, The Swallows through Deborah Rogers at Rogers, Coleridge & White. The book will be published in January 2012 as a trade paperback, and US rights will be sold at this year’s LBF.
The novel is set in Pakistan, and focuses on a prisoner’s life after 15 years behind bars. The book opens as he is released, and tells the story of how he was unjustly imprisoned, for what turns out to be a completely innocent encounter with a young girl in a market, and his subsequent rehabilitation.
Brackstone described the work as "a tale of tenderness in the face of great corruption and power". He said: "[It] is a heartbreaking novel written in prose of exquisite stillness and beauty. This is story telling of the highest order and should be a major international publication for Faber.
"It’s unusual because it is written by a young British novelist who has no obvious connection to Pakistan. It taps into a lot of our modern concerns, such as torture and the rights of individuals. He is a really, really exciting literary author," he added.
Hobbs’ first novel, The Short Day Dying, published by Faber in 2005, was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Whitbread First Novel Award, and won a Betty Trask in 2006. Writing for the Guardian, Alison Flood described the book as "a hidden gem". His collection of short stories, I Could Ride All Day in My Cool Blue Train, was published in 2006.
Hobbs grew up in Cornwall and Yorkshire, and now lives in Canada.