Faber has acquired Lanny, the "devastating" second novel from Granta editorial director Max Porter.
Faber publisher Mitzi Angel acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Lisa Baker at Aitken Alexander and the novel has already sold in nine other territories: by Graywolf in the US and Penguin Random House Canada, Denmark (Gyldendal), France (Le Seuil), Germany (Kein & Aber), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Norway (Gyldendal), Spain (Literatura Random House) and Sweden (Sekwa).
The story is set in a village 60 miles outside of London, which is no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs. The village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a figure schoolchildren used to draw green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth. Dead Papa Toothwort is awake. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to his English symphony. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.
Lanny will be published in March 2019.
Porter's first novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, was published to widespread acclaim in 2015. It has been sold in 27 territories and saw Porter win the Sunday Times/ Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. Complicité and Wayward’s production of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy has just opened in Dublin.
Angel said: "Lanny tells a devastating story, and it tells it with the anarchy, the humour and the enchantment Porter’s readers will recognise from Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. Playful, irreverent, full of magic, it brings us the best and the worst in English civic life. It’s a warning about what we stand to lose and a hymn to everything we will never fully understand. It will haunt the imagination for years to come."