Lightning Books has bought two books from Elinor Lipman after editor-at-large Scott Pack, frustrated her books were not available in the UK, emailed the author.
Pack bought UK rights for two books, On Turpentine Lane and Good Riddance, which will both be published in spring 2020.
He said: “I read my first Elinor Lipman novel when I was head of buying for Waterstones and she quickly became one of my favourite writers. When recommending her to others, which I do all the time, I compare her to Nora Ephron, Nick Hornby and (a funny) Anne Tyler, and that usually piques their interest. I was frustrated that her most recent novels were not available over here so I contacted Elinor and I find myself, a few months later, about to publish her in the UK.”
First published in the US in 2017, On Turpentine Lane (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) follows Faith Frankel who thinks her life is finally on track when she buys a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane. However, she is in for a shock when she finds some mysterious artefacts in the attic of her new home. The book was described by the New York Times as “light and tight... constructed with an almost scary mastery”.
2019’s Good Riddance (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was described by the Washington Post as “a vastly entertaining screwball comedy”. The synopsis explains: “Daphne Maritch discards her late mother’s old high school yearbook while decluttering her tiny New York apartment. When it is found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbour, she finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd.”
Lipman was born in Massachusetts and is the author of a dozen novels. Her first, Then She Found Me (Pocket Books, 1990), was adapted into a film starring Helen Hunt, Bette Midler and Colin Firth. She won the New England Book Award in 2001, and her novel My Latest Grievance (Headline Review) won the Paterson Fiction Prize.
She said: “How thrilled I was to wake up one morning to an email from Eye & Lightning Books, telling me they were frustrated that my novels hadn’t been published in the UK for a while. Me too! I wrote back in seconds, the equivalent of 'one thousand times yes' – and it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I couldn’t be more grateful for and happy about my relaunch and this Lipman-Lightning alliance!”