Cape scoops story collection and debut novel from Barrett

Cape scoops story collection and debut novel from Barrett

Jonathan Cape has scooped the second story collection from Colin Barrett, as well as his debut novel. 

Nick Skidmore, editorial director at Vintage, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to Homesickness, from Lucy Luck at C&W, to be published on 10th March 2022. Barrett’s debut novel will follow in 2023.

His first collection of short stories, Young Skins (Cape) won the 2014 Guardian First Book Award, the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. The next collection, Homesickness, will feature eight stories, described by the publisher as "quietly caustic, startlingly beautiful, and wonderfully wry".

The synopsis says: "Barrett takes us back to the barren backwaters of County Mayo, via Canada, and illuminates the lives of outcasts, misfits and malcontents with an eye for the abrupt and absurd. A quiet night in the neighbourhood pub is shattered by the arrival of a sword-wielding fugitive. A funeral party teeters on the edge of this world and the next, as ghosts won't simply lay in wake. A shooting sees an everyday call-out lead a policewoman to confront the banality of her own existence. An aspiring writer grapples with his father’s cancer diagnosis and in his despair wreaks havoc on his mentor’s life."

Skidmore said: "Colin Barrett’s Young Skins is without doubt one of the great story collections of modern times, so eight years on, we’re blessed to be publishing its equally extraordinary follow-up, Homesickness. Colin is a storyteller of immeasurable gifts, and there’s not a sentence or scene within these stories that escapes his brilliance. The result is a collection that is both violently funny and beautifully moving. With his debut novel to follow in 2023, the next few years will be exciting ones for Jonathan Cape and Vintage as we proudly champion Colin Barrett as the most original and captivating storyteller of his generation."

Barrett added: "I'm very delighted that Cape will be publishing my next two books. Over the years they have shown only unfailing support and patience as I have worked on these manuscripts. Cape's continuing passion and enthusiasm for the short story as well as the novel have meant a tremendous deal to me."