Oneworld has triumphed at auction for Ecuadorian author Natalia García Freire's debut novel, Our Dead Skin.
Juliet Mabey, publisher at Oneworld, acquired British and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada), with exclusive Europe, serial and audio rights, from Sandra Pareja at Barcelona-based Casanovas & Lynch Literary Agency.
Our Dead Skin was originally published in Spanish in 2019 by La Navaja Suiza Editores; it will be translated by Victor Meadowcroft and published by Oneworld in spring 2022.
The synopsis reads: "Narrated by a young man who returns to his family home after years away to find it is now owned by two strangers who arrived, out of the blue, when Lucas was still a child, the tightly coiled narrative alternates between chapters recalling his traumatic childhood and the present. Lucas’ youthful naivety is vividly contrasted with the more sinister—and by the end fairly unhinged—voice of the adult man, and it is in the blend of these two perspectives that García Freire has created such a fascinating and complex central character."
Mabey commented: "Natalia has written an incredibly atmospheric, almost surreal novel, suffused with a strong sense of foreboding and unsettling eeriness that builds to an almost unbearable point by the end. This is the sort of controlled build-up of tension that we have seen in the award-winning work of Samanta Schweblin, and I am incredibly excited to be publishing her debut here."
García Freire commented: "I write for my loved ones who are not with me anymore. Our Dead Skin was an attempt to reach them through words, through fiction, through insects and earth."
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