Hamish Hamilton has landed a second novel by Lara Williams, the 2019 Not the Booker Prize-winning author of Supper Club (Hamish Hamilton).
Editor Hermione Thompson bought world rights from Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock, to publish in spring 2022 with a title to be revealed.
Billed as “surreal, acid-tongued and extremely funny”, the novel is “a lacerating examination of capitalism and consent, and of the fraught search for meaning in what can often feel like the end times”.
The synopsis states: “Set on a gargantuan luxury cruise liner captained by self-appointed visionary Keith, the novel follows the fates of a gift shop worker, Circe. Keith is a devoted (if ill-informed) follower of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi and a passionate believer in being your authentic self. Unfortunately, Circe’s authentic self is just a reflection of whoever she happens to be around at the time. So when she is accepted onto Keith’s mysterious personal mentoring scheme, he quickly senses that she is the perfect candidate to help him realise his great vision…”
Williams previous novel, Supper Club, has been translated into six languages, won the Guardian Not the Booker Prize and was listed as a Book of the Year 2019 by TIME, Vogue and others. Earlier short story collection Treats (Freight) was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award and the Saboteur Awards and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Williams teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University and is a contributor to the Guardian, Independent, Times Literary Supplement, Vice, Dazed and others.
She said: “It's an absolute dream to be working with Hamish Hamilton again, and to collaborate with Hermione once more. And I feel really passionate about this book.”
Thompson added: “Lara has a knack for putting her finger right on the pulse of the now – and when she first told me about this novel, I knew instantly that she was onto something once again.”