Fitzcarraldo Editions is set to publish Dark Neighbourhood, the debut short story collection by Vanessa Onwuemezi.
Associate publisher Tamara Sampey-Jawad acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to the stories from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander, with publication scheduled for October 2021.
The synopsis explains: "In her brilliantly inventive debut collection, Vanessa Onwuemezi takes readers on a surreal and haunting journey through a landscape on the edge of time. From the border with another world, where a line of people wait for the gates to open, to a suburban garden, where a witnessed murder pushes a man out into the community, the stories in Dark Neighbourhood explore the human ideals of love and freedom and their counterparts, alienation, loss and shame."
Commenting on the acquisition, Sampey-Jawad said: "Electrifying and heady, and written with a masterful lyrical precision, these stories revel in the complexity of human emotions and showcase Vanessa’s exceptional talent as a writer. Daring and formally ambitious, her work is also wry, mesmerising and deeply affecting – Dark Neighbourhood heralds the arrival of a strikingly original new voice in fiction and we are delighted to be welcoming Vanessa to Fitzcarraldo Editions."
Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Prototype, frieze and Five Dials. Her story "At the Heart of Things" won the White Review Short Story Prize 2019. She said: "It is an honour to be publishing my debut collection with Fitzcarraldo Editions. It will be an even greater honour to share these stories, to give them away to the reader, so that they no longer belong only to me."
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