Orion imprint Phoenix has won an auction for Notes On An Execution by literary agent and author Danya Kukafka, a "powerful and propulsive" novel about a man on death row.
The novel will deconstruct the story of a serial killer on death row through the eyes of three women in his life. As the clock counts down his final hours, he reckons with his fate, "whilst a mother, a sister and a detective unspool his past, sifting through the choices that have culminated in tragedy and exploring their devastating impact".
Notes On An Execution will "present a chilling portrait of womanhood as it unravels the familiar narrative of the American serial killer, interrogating the justice system and our cultural obsession with crime stories, and asking readers to consider the false promise of looking for meaning in the psyches of violent men" said the publisher.
Publisher Francesca Main bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Jenny Meyer at the Jenny Meyer Literary Agency on behalf of Dana Murphy at The Book Group. North American rights were acquired by Jessica Williams at William Morrow in an exclusive submission. Notes On An Execution will be published as a lead Phoenix hardback in February 2022.
Main said: "Haunting, lyrical and heartbreaking, Notes On An Execution is a masterpiece of literary suspense and a novel that gets right under the skin. Whilst her protagonist is an astonishing creation, Danya Kukafka trains the reader’s gaze on the women whose lives he has ruptured and the long shadow cast by acts of violence. I’m very proud to welcome Danya to Phoenix and can’t wait to share her novel far and wide."
Kukafka is the author of Girl In Snow (Picador) which was published in 2018 and has been translated into 15 languages. Previously an assistant editor at Riverhead, she is now a literary agent at Aevitas.
She said: "I couldn’t be more excited to join the Phoenix list. Writing is such a solitary process, and this book took so much effort and reflection to write – I am honored and moved by the care and precision that Francesca and her team have already given to Notes On An Execution. It’s a dream to be a part of such a dynamic and innovative publishing process."