Hamish Hamilton has acquired a new novel by Submarine author Joe Dunthorne.
The Adulterants is narrated by Ray, a 30-something freelance tech journalist living with his pregnant wife in Hackney, staring down the barrel of long-deferred adulthood.
Described as chronically underachieving and empathy-impaired, Ray is a deadpan antihero whom the readers will end up rooting for, as fatherhood looms and his life implodes. Throughout a series of escalating catastrophes, he is said to keep up a merciless mental commentary on the foibles and failings of those around him, and the vicissitudes of modern urban life: internet trolls, sadistic estate agents, open marriages and the threat posed by sensitive men.
Simon Prosser, publishing director of Hamish Hamilton and Penguin Books, acquired British and Commonwealth rights from Georgia Garrett at RCW. French rights have been pre-empted by Gallimard.
Prosser commented: "Joe Dunthorne’s unique combination of original voice, poetic vision, natural wit and daring imagination come together in a tour de force, breathing new life into one of the novel’s most canonical subjects – marriage and adultery. It is a subversive joy to read."
Dunthorne added: "'I am very happy to be working again with Simon and the wonderful team at Hamish Hamilton. The Adulterants has been a long time in the writing so I'm excited and relieved to finally pass it into the hands of a publisher that I love."
Dunthorne's 2008 debut Submarine (Penguin) was made into a film directed by Richard Ayoade released in 2010. It was followed by Wild Abandon (Random House) in 2011.