Myriad will publish The Bread the Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini, billed as a "rich, raw and urgent domestic noir novel of sex and survival set in Trinidad’s capital".
Publishing director Candida Lacey bought world rights directly from the author.
The Bread the Devil Knead will follow Alethea Lopez, a fashionable, mixed-race boutique manager who lives and works in Trinidad’s capital city, Port of Spain, and is about to turn 40. The novel will follow her as she navigates a dangerous path between her abusive partner Leo, a failed musician who wants to own her body and soul, and the spineless boss she sleeps with only to preserve her personal power. But when she is reunited with her adopted brother, decades after they parted, memories and family secrets begin to unlock and she starts to understand the person she has become.
Lacey said: "This is an engrossing, insightful and atmospheric novel with a strong feminist message at the heart of its page-turning plot. We spotted Lisa Allen-Agostini’s talent in her contribution to Margaret Busby’s anthology New Daughters of Africa, so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to publish her debut novel. The Bread the Devil Knead is largely written in English Creole and the cadences and beauty of the language sing on every page. The novel explores an abusive love-affair with searing honesty, and skilfully tackles the issue of gender violence and racism against the lush and heady backdrop of the national festival, and the music that feeds it. It’s impossible not to root for Alethea—she is an unforgettable heroine, trapped in ways she is only just beginning to understand, but shining with strength, resolve and, ultimately, self-determination."
Allen-Agostini is a writer, editor and stand-up comedian from Trinidad and Tobago. She contributed to the New Daughters of Africa anthology (Myriad Editions, 2020), and has written four YA novels, including Home Home (Delacorte Press, 2020).