Hamish Hamilton has acquired debut novel The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh after a seven-way auction.
The novel, said to reveal "the brutality of love and the price of survival in a hostile world", tells the story of three daughters raised in an isolated coastal compound, cut off from the world and its men. Their parents tell them they are safe here - until the day three men wash up on the shore, strange and vulnerable and infinitely dangerous.
In her first acquisition for Hamish Hamilton, Hermione Thompson bought British and Commonwealth volume, audio and serial rights to The Water Cure from Harriet Moore at David Higham Associates to publish summer 2018.
Thompson said the book heralded "a radical new voice in literary fiction". Debut novelist Mackintosh previously won the 2016 White Review Short Story Prize and the 2016 Virago/Stylist Short Story competition, and has been published in Granta Magazine, The White Review and TANK Magazine.
"The Water Cure is an astonishing novel: it unfolds seductively, like a dream (or a nightmare), yet speaks urgently to the concerns of our own world. It heralds the arrival of a radical new voice in literary fiction," said Thompson.
Moore, her agent, said: "I still remember the first time I read Sophie Mackintosh's fierce, intimate prose and have been haunted by it ever since. I am delighted that The Water Cure will join the Hamish Hamilton list - a marvellous home for it."
Mackintosh said it was "an absolute dream" to be taken on by the publisher, adding, "The Water Cure is a book very close to my heart, and I’m incredibly excited to be working on it with Hermione."