Jacaranda Books is to publish Lisa Bent's debut romance novel, Symona's Still Single, this autumn.
The publisher acquired the novel through the Twenty in 2020 submission call, and holds world rights for print, e-book and audiobook.
Billed as a "bold and insightful narrative", and "the voice of 30-something single black women", the novel examines the necessity of self-love in tandem with dating.
Publisher and press founder Valerie Brandes said: “Lisa Bent is a truly original talent who, in writing Symona's Still Single, has given us a keen insight into a world rarely imagined in fiction, that of the modern British Black woman.”
The synopsis explains: "Beginning as a memoir compiled from blogs and Facebook posts, Lisa created this novel to question what it means to exist and be a Black woman looking for love in the UK. Symona’s understanding of her identity, fears and beliefs run throughout the book alongside her failed relationships, past trauma and powerful sisterhood. Examining the psychological impact and inner self work required to heal and thrive, this is not your average romance novel. At a time when representations of Black love, Black love and Black romance are at the forefront of collective imaginations, Lisa’s debut novel is an exciting addition to the literary landscape."
Bent is part of #Twentyin2020, a cohort of 20 black British writers to be published in the same year, a first in the UK, and an initiative started by Jacaranda. She is also part of The Black Writers Guild.
Commenting on her debut novel, Bent said: “Blind spots and repeating patterns exist in all our stories. Symona's journey of reflection shows the power of self-exploration and agency. In turn, gently nudging you to look at yours.”
The novel will be released on 8th October.