Faber & Faber has signed “an exuberant, original” novel by Chris Wilson in Louisa Joyner’s first acquisition since joining the publisher as editorial director.
Joyner acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights to The Zoo by Wilson from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
The title, described as “funny”, “profound” and “brilliantly rendered” has already sold into several territories, including to Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Germay following a six-way auction and Uitgeverij Ambo-Anthos in Holland.
Wilson was long-listed for the Man Booker prize for his novel Bluegrass and was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize in 2005 for The Ballad of Lee Cotton, published by Little, Brown.
Joyner said: “I fell in love with Yuri Zipit and his deeply unusual and yet totally tangible world pretty much on the first page. The Zoo is as funny as it is profound and as original as it is brilliantly rendered. I am very proud that we’re publishing Christopher Wilson at Faber, it all feels like the perfect fit.”
Geller said The Zoo had a “profound tenderness at its heart” and was also a “cracking read”.
“I’m thrilled that Louisa has chosen this extraordinary novel for her first buy at Faber,” he said.
Meanwhile Wilson joked that it was “wonderful to be back, writing again after a fallow period, following on from some cardiac arrests, after The Ballad of Lee Cotton came out”. He said: “Jonny Geller found me the perfect perch. I've an intense admiration for Louisa Joyner and love her style and spirit as an editor. And Faber is a fabulous publisher.”
The title will be published in July 2017.