Hutchinson has signed the new novel from award-winning author Carys Bray about the impact of climate change on mental health.
Jocasta Hamilton, publishing director at Hutchinson, acquired world English rights in When the Lights Go Out in a “strong five-figure” deal from Veronique Baxter at David Higham. Hutchinson will publish in hardback, e-book and audio on 7th May 2020.
Bray’s first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, was published by Hutchinson in 2014, going on to be shortlisted for the Costa Awards the following year and winning the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2015. Her most recent novel, The Museum of You (Hutchinson), was published in 2016.
Hutchinson said of her forthcoming novel: “Brilliantly exploring the impact climate change is having on our mental health, When the Lights Go Out centres on the relationship between Emma, who’s preparing for Christmas and her husband Chris, who is preparing for societal collapse. In his mind, desperate times call for desperate measures. Chris has turned off the heating. He treks his sons across the Moss in the drubbing rain. He has filled the garage with rice and beans and wants the family to practise suturing on the pigs trotters he’s put in the freezer. And he has other plans that, if voiced, Emma would surely veto. But what if, while preparing for disaster, he unwittingly precipitates it?”
Hamilton said: “Carys is such an incredible writer. Here she’s writing about hope, fear and the climate of a marriage changing. The novel asks how you live if you believe your world is going to end and how you rescue someone who doesn’t want to be rescued.”
Bray, who is based in Lancashire, said: “I started writing this novel almost four years ago. During those years, discussion of the issues I was exploring became more diffuse and urgent. As I completed the novel, thousands of people were preparing to engage in non-violent protests in an attempt to force the government to tell the truth about climate change and act accordingly. When the Lights Go Out is about coming to terms with our changing environment. It's about the solace and sorrow of modern life, and I hope it's also an entertaining exploration of anxiety and avoidance in a fraying marriage. I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with Jocasta and Hutchinson, again.”