Galley Beggar Press has bagged the “tense, emotional and gripping” first adult novel from James Clammer.
The indie scooped world rights direct from the author for Insignificance, which will be published in autumn 2020.
“Insignificance takes us inside a day in the life of a man called Joseph. He is trying to focus on a plumbing job he is doing for his wife’s friend Amanda Margaret, but is distracted by the terrible things that have been happening within his family,” reads the synopsis. “He believes that his son has tried to kill his wife. He is afraid he will do so again. He is also terrified that his wife is going to leave him – and that he himself may not even get through the day.”
Clammer, whose children’s novel Why I Went Back (Andersen Press) was longlisted for the Branford Boase award, said the new book was inspired by his experience working as a plumber.
He explained: “Having read the manuscript, someone in publishing assured me that it 'wasn't a crowd pleaser', though I was left uncertain as to why this should be. Fortunately Sam Jordison and Eloise Millar at Galley Beggar Press saw something in it. I'm privileged to be joining their roster of talented writers, and proud to be associated with a publisher who, along with many other small presses, are spearheading the delivery of a diversity of voices which the larger publishing houses seem, occasionally, uninterested in.”
Jordison, currently celebrating the Booker longlisting of Galley Beggar title Ducks, Newburyport, said he was proud to be taking on the book.
He said: “This is a human story, first and foremost – but it’s also a book that quietly breaks new ground, both in terms of its exquisite prose and in its theme and ideas. Clammer has done an exceptional job of generating a feeling of intimacy for his characters while writing in the third person. Insignificance gets right inside the head of its struggling narrator and you are made to feel all his awkwardness and uncertainty in the world. It’s a tense, emotional and gripping experience.”