John Murray has revealed Fiona Mozley's second novel, Hot Stew, will be published in March 2021. Mozley's editor Becky Walsh has also been promoted.
Hot Stew is the second novel from Mozley whose debut, Elmet, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It tells the story of an unlikely group of individuals from the top echelons of society down to the lowest who are all in some way connected to a Soho brothel which is in the process of being shut down for redevelopment.
Becky Walsh–for whom Elmet was her first acquisition and who has since been promoted from assistant editor to commissioning editor–bought world rights from Leslie Gardner at Artellus. US rights were sold in "a strong deal" to Betsy Gleick, publisher and editorial director at Algonquin Books, and there are option publishers in several territories.
Mozley, a former bookseller, has won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari First Book Prize and she was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the PFD/Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. Elmet was also longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Dublin Literary Award and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. It sold into 14 territories and has sold over 100,000 copies across all UK editions.
Her new book Hot Stew is described by John Murray Press as "an insightful and ambitious novel about property, ownership, wealth and inheritance .... about the place we occupy in society, especially women, and the importance of class and money".
Mozley said: "I am very pleased to be working with the team at John Murray again. We had a lot of fun last time round. I am excited to see how people react to Hot Stew. In some respects it couldn’t be more different from Elmet; in terms of setting, scope and style. In other respects, it writes through similar questions, and begins with a shared premise: a dispute over property."
Walsh commented: "I’m thrilled to be publishing Hot Stew in March next year – it is intelligent and insightful and is a novel that has real relevance today. I’ve loved working with Fiona again to bring her novel to the world; I hope readers will fall in love with it, the same way they did with Elmet, and I can’t wait to see the reaction it gets."
Walsh’s promotion came into effect at the beginning of March. It coincided with her acquisition of American debut Memphis by Tara Stringfellow, slated to be a mjor lead in 2021 for John Murray, which she won at a five-way auction.
She joined John Murray in 2012 as editorial assistant, and the first book she acquired was Mozley's Elmet. More recent highlights include a Women’s Prize shortlisting for Dominicana by Angie Cruz, launching Big Girl Small Town by Michelle Gallen, which has been longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Award, and publishing Oisin Fagan’s debut novel Nobber, which has been longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction.
Nick Davies John Murray Press m.d. said: "I’m delighted for Becky. She is developing one of the most interesting and distinctive fiction lists in UK publishing, via J M Originals and the John Murray imprint. She is loved by her authors and her colleagues too, and this promotion is richly deserved."