HQ has signed The Halfways, a “very special” debut family drama from Nilopar Uddin.
Publishing director Manpreet Grewal acquired world all-language rights from Anna Power at Johnson & Alcock in a two-book deal. The Halfways will be published in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio in summer 2022.
Its synopsis states: “The Halfways is an epic family drama about two sisters, Nasrin and Sabrina. When their father Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, but reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood. When Shamsur’s will is read to the gathered family, a devastating secret is revealed that profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift. Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this sweeping novel spans over four decades.”
Uddin was born in Shropshire to Sylheti parents, who like the fictional family in The Halfways, owned and ran an Indian restaurant in Wales. She has had a successful career as a financial services lawyer, practising in both London and New York. She now lives in London and has an MA in creative writing from City University, where she first started working on The Halfways.
She said: “I'm so delighted to be working with the HQ team on the publication of The Halfways. I've been overwhelmed by Manpreet's enthusiasm for these characters, who have lived with me for the last six years, and am very excited to have the opportunity to work with her. I'm also extremely grateful to my agent, Anna, for her unwavering support and encouragement. Publishing The Halfways is a dream come true.”
Grewal added: “In equal parts compelling, harrowing, multi-layered and beautiful, The Halfways is that rarest of novels. It’s everything I love in a big story about family, and more. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible. I defy anyone not to be moved by these characters and the rich stories they have to tell. I was completely blown away by Nilopar’s talent, and this is going to be a very special publication for HQ.”
Power commented: “I love an epic family story and I fell for The Halfways from the first pages, as it sweeps you up in the chaos and love in the Islam family. Nilopar has created some unforgettable female characters trying to live exciting lives on their own terms, yet always drawn back to the family restaurant in a small village in Wales. It’s a very moving and special debut, and I can’t wait for Manpreet and HQ to spread the word.”