Serpent’s Tail has acquired a new novel by Mary Gaitskill in what the publisher has described as the author’s “most ambitious work yet.”
Hannah Westland acquired UK & Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Tracy Bohan at the Wylie Agency to The Mare, which tells the story of Velvet, a Dominican child from Brooklyn, and Ginger, the middle-aged white woman she goes to stay with in upstate New York through a charity for disadvantaged kids. The Mare illuminates the Ginger’s changing relationship with Velvet over the course of several years, as well as Velvet’s powerful encounter with the horses at a nearby stable, particularly an abused, unruly mare.
The publisher said: “In Gaitskill's hands, the timeless story of a girl and a horse meets the eternal question of people from different backgrounds struggling to meet each other honestly. Stunningly written, The Mare is raw, striking, and completely original.”
Serpent’s Tail will also reissue Gaitskill’s novel Veronica as a Serpent’s Tail Classic at the same time as The Mare hardback publication next July. The publisher has also acquired a set to short stories from the author and the collection entitles Don’t Cry will be published the following year.
Westland said: “We published Mary Gaitskill’s iconic novel Veronica back in 2005 and I am thrilled to be welcoming Mary back to the list with her first new novel in a decade, The Mare. Mary is one of those rare writers who inspires obsession and awe, and breaks boundaries with everything she writes.”
Gaitskill is the author of the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award, Veronica, nominated for a National Book Award and Two Girls, Fat and Thin.