Head of Zeus lands Meehan's novel on Oscar and Constance Wilde

Head of Zeus lands Meehan's novel on Oscar and Constance Wilde

Head of Zeus has landed Andrew Meehan’s second novel, a “unique and moving take” on Oscar Wilde's relationship with his wife Constance.

Publishing director Neil Belton and editorial assistant Florence Hare acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Sarah Williams at the Sophie Hicks Agency. The Mystery of Love will be published in February 2020.

The Irish writer’s first novel, One Star Awake (New Island), was longlisted for the 2018 Desmond Elliot Prize. His new book “gives a voice to a woman often forgotten and explores the pain and frustration of living in such a complex man’s shadow”, said the publisher.

Belton said: “Meehan has found an utterly original voice for his reimagining of the relationship between Oscar and Constance – completely unsentimental, ironic and sharply observant. He is a brilliant writer, and I'm very glad that I can publish him.”

Meehan explained: “You could call The Mystery of Love a tragic story. But, since Constance and Oscar stay alive in each other's hearts until the very end, it doesn’t play that way at all. There is a public Oscar and a private one and she is the only one who gets to glimpse the latter. This could be the story of any marriage. I’m very pleased to have a distinguished editor like Neil Belton as my own collaborator.”