Granta Books has acquired Strange Heart Beating, a "remarkable" debut novel by Eli Goldstone, at auction.
Junior editor Ka Bradley signed UK & Commonwealth rights excluding Canada to the title from Zoe Ross at United Agents.
Strange Heart Beating is a "darkly funny" and "seductive" novel which follows an apathetic English academic named Seb, whose wife Leda is killed by a swan. In the days after her death he discovers a stash of unopened letters addressing her by another name.
Sunk by grief and floundering professionally, he pursues his late wife to her home village in Latvia, where the menacing, lonely and mysterious figures from her past await him.
Bradley said: “Although I began this novel captivated by its wicked humour, confident prose and gripping narrative, it was its savage tenderness that ensnared me. Far more than a tragicomedy of errors and erasures, Strange Heart Beating is about the idea of possession in relationships, and the lie that we can ever fully know someone even when we love them absolutely. Eli is an astonishing writer with a vision that is both acerbic and sympathetic."
Granta will publish in June 2017.