Chatto & Windus has acquired The Executor by poet, novelist and memoirist, Blake Morrison.
Publishing director Clara Farmer acquired volume, audio, e-book and serial rights in UK and Commonwealth territories (excluding Canada) from Sarah Ballard at United Agents.
The Executor, due to publish in 2018, is described as an "elegant and unsettling" novel about a man who becomes the literary executor of a friend’s estate, and the moral dilemmas he faces when he uncovers some previously unpublished, and potentially explosive, material.
The novel will be his first in seven years, after his last novel published in 2010; The Last Weekend (Vintage) was made into a 3-part ITV drama in 2012. His most recent publication was Shingle Street (Vintage) in 2015, then his first full-length collection of poetry in nearly 30 years.
Farmer said: "The Executor is a nuanced and masterful novel from a favourite prose stylist who writes the world with a poet’s eye. Blake Morrison has an uncanny ability to capture our frailties, whether in the push-pull of male friendship or the fragile transactions of married life: this literary detective story of sexual obsession is never quite what it seems, and cleverly manages to be as much of a cerebral pleasure as an emotionally gripping read."
Morrison said: "I’m delighted by the enthusiasm that Clara Farmer and her colleagues have shown for my novel. I’ve been a Chatto author for many years and I greatly value our enduring relationship."
Morrison, a professor of creative writing at Goldsmiths College, is the author of two memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? (Grant), winner of the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography and the Esquire Award for Non-Fiction, and Things My Mother Never Told Me (Vintage), the novels The Justification of Johann Gutenberg, South of the River and The Last Weekend, and a study of the Bulger case, As If (Granta). His first poetry collection, Dark Glasses (Chatto), was a Poetry Book Society Choice and won the Somerset Maugham Award.