Hodder Studio is publishing the next two novels by Beth Lewis, author of debut The Wolf Road, starting with "powerful novel" The Origins of Iris, which touches on themes of self-discovery and survival.
Kwaku Osei-Afrifa, editorial assistant at Hodder Studio, bought world English language rights for two books by Lewis from Jemima Forrester at David Higham Associates.
The Origins of Iris, pitched as "Wild meets 'Sliding Doors'", will publish in August 2021, followed by a second novel, Atlas. The latter is set in the 1980s, and follows a reporter infiltrating a cult in upstate New York.
The synopsis for The Origins of Iris reads: "As a child, Iris and her father found solace in the beauty and wilderness of the forest, and now Iris needs time to come to terms with the mistakes that have led her here. What Iris doesn’t expect in this journey of survival and self-discovery is to find herself—quite literally. Trapped in a neglected cabin deep in the mountains and with rapidly dwindling supplies, Iris is forced to come face-to-face with a seemingly happier, prettier, better version of herself. But is this other Iris all she seems? Can she be trusted? What is she hiding? And why did she end up here if her life went down such a different path?"
Osei-Afrifa said: "I’ve been a fan of Beth’s writing since her incredible debut The Wolf Road, and leapt at the chance to acquire her new books. Her imagination is thrilling, employing different literary devices and genres to tell incredibly human stories with every book. I call it ‘genre-fluid’ and I can’t wait for people to read The Origins of Iris. I am delighted that Beth’s novels are my first acquisition for the new imprint—and it’s a privilege to be working with her at Hodder Studio."
Lewis, who previously worked at Titan Books and commissions for Unbound, added: "I couldn’t be more excited to be working with such an amazing team at Hodder Studio. Their enthusiasm for The Origins of Iris has blown me away. I can’t wait for readers to get to know Iris and experience her journey. This book touches on the very real, very serious, but largely overlooked issue of domestic violence within same-sex relationships, an issue close to my heart. Huge thanks too to my wonderful agent, Jemima Forrester, for finding The Origins of Iris and Atlas the perfect home."