No Exit signs 'compelling' historical debut

No Exit signs 'compelling' historical debut

No Exit Press has acquired two books from debut British author Carolyn Kirby.

UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Half of You and a second novel by Kirby were acquired from David Haviland at Andrew Lownie Associates.

Kirby’s first novel, Half of You, is set in Birmingham in the 1880s and explores the theme of nature versus nurture through the story of Cora Burns, a young woman who finds herself faced with the difficult challenge of overcoming her unalterable biology and troubled upbringing if she has any hope of creating a better future for herself. This "compelling" historical thriller won the Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award, was a runner up for Daniel Goldsmith First Novel Award and was shortlisted for Mslexia Novel Prize.

Ion Mills, managing director of No Exit Press, said: "We are thrilled to be publishing such an exciting new voice in this genre. Kirby’s gripping historical thriller explores so many contemporary issues such as madness, motherhood, criminality and medical research that we are certain it will be a huge success next summer."

Kirby said: "I am delighted that the lovely team at No Exit Press has taken on Half of You, a novel that asks difficult questions about childrens’ morality and the influence on our sympathies of ideas about nature versus nurture. It’s fantastic to know that they will be bringing my next historical thriller to life as well."

Originally from Sunderland, Kirby studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before working in social housing and as a teacher. Her novel Half of You was begun on a writing course at Faber Academy.