Helen Cullen's second novel goes to Michael Joseph

Helen Cullen's second novel goes to Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph will publish a “beautiful literary” second novel from Irish writer Helen Cullen in Spring 2020.

Jessica Leeke, publisher at Michael Joseph, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Peter Straus at RCW Literary Agency. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually will publish in hardback on 14th May 2020.

The new novel is set on an island off the west coast of Ireland, where the Moone family gather, only to be shattered by tragedy. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a "celebration of the complex, flawed and stubbornly optimistic human heart", said the publisher.

Cullen was shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2018, and her debut novel The Lost Letters of William Woolf (Michael Joseph) was published last year following a six-figure deal in 2017. It has been optioned for television by Mainstreet Pictures, with author and screenwriter Niall Williams signed on to adapt.

Leeke said: “Helen Cullen is back with a beautiful literary novel about family, love and loss. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually introduces us to the Moone family – Maeve, Murtagh and their four children, almost grown. We watch them break before our eyes, and piece by imperfect piece put themselves back together to reveal a new truth dazzling in its resilience.

“It’s a novel about motherhood and mental health, what it is to be a parent and how well we can ever really know one as their child. It’s a novel about the many faces of love and how sometimes love is not enough. But we do it anyway. It will break your heart. But it will be worth it.”