The long game: Manilla wins four-way tussle for Vesper's 'gripping' debut

The long game: Manilla wins four-way tussle for Vesper's 'gripping' debut

Bonnier Books UK imprint Manilla Press has won Inga Vesper’s début novel The Long, Long Afternoon following a four-way auction.

Zaffre and Manilla Press publishing director Sophie Orme acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Giles Milburn at The Madeline Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency. The publisher described the novel as a "gripping and deeply atmospheric" reading group mystery set in California, 1959, revolving around the disappearance of housewife Joyce Haney. 

German-born, London-based journalist and editor Vesper said: “I was inspired by the 1950s, because I believe that the stifling rigidity of this decade, with its clear gender rules, conservative politics and strictly enforced social codes, lay the groundwork for the 60s, which brought on global student revolutions, the civil rights movement, and second-wave feminism. Behind the veneer of perfect 50s imagery lies something very dark and disturbing.”

Orme added: “The mystery behind [The Long, Long Afternoon's] strange disappearance of a housewife will hook you in, but it’s the rich characters and intoxicating atmosphere of those long summer afternoons, brimming with secrets, which will linger on in your mind long after the final page has been turned.”

A core component of Manilla Press's campaign for the book is a new web page where readers can sign-up for advance proof copies of the book. It will be published in spring 2021.