Picador has landed a story collection and debut novel from Niamh Mulvey, writer of publishing newsletter “In the Read” and a former Quercus commissioning editor.
Editorial director Sophie Jonathan acquired world print, digital and audio rights for Hearts and Bones and novel The Amendments from Sallyanne Sweeney at MMB Creative.
Hearts and Bones: Love Songs For Late Youth is a collection that moves between Ireland, London and the South of France. The publisher explained: “These 11 stories are about love in all its forms: friendships strain, families break apart, love fades, love warps and love endures. With tenderness and humour, Hearts and Bones explores the question of who we are now that we’ve brought the old gods down.”
The novel was sold on a partial manuscript and grown from one of the stories in the collection. Moving through decades and across borders, it is billed as “a sweeping story about how the politics you grow up with can betray you, and about how you can love people whose views are totally opposed to your own”.
Mulvey is a writer and editor who has published short fiction in The Stinging Fly, Banshee and Southword and was shortlisted for the Seán O’Faoláin Prize for Short Fiction 2020. She has also written for the Irish Times, The Bookseller, Image Magazine and The Pool. She writes "In the Read", a popular newsletter about the intersection of money and the arts in publishing, and was formerly a commissioning editor at Quercus before leaving in 2019 to go freelance.
She explained: “I wrote these stories to get through lockdown, drawing from memories real and imagined, while feeling very far away from many of the people I love. I still can’t quite believe that they have landed with Picador and I am beyond thrilled to be working with the brilliant Sophie and her team.”
Jonathan added: “Niamh is an enormously talented writer – I was impressed by the varied voices of her stories, by the wit and thoughtfulness of her prose. There are stories in the collection that have stopped me and my colleagues in our tracks, and stories that raise a smile each time I think of them. And I couldn’t be more excited about The Amendments. Niamh writes with such emotional power it takes my breath away, and yet there is a sharp wit here too. I know The Amendments will be an astonishing novel, and I can’t wait to usher Niamh’s work into the world.”
Sweeney commented: “The range and skill in Niamh’s short story collection blew me away; you feel you know these characters already and delving into the intimacies of their lives kept me up all night. Her novel promises to be something extraordinary too and I’m excited for all that lies ahead with Picador.”
Picador will publish Hearts and Bones: Love Songs For Late Youth in summer 2022, with The Amendments following in 2023.