Picador pre-empts Curtis Brown student Ladner's 'urban' debut

Picador pre-empts Curtis Brown student Ladner's 'urban' debut

Picador has pre-empted a “funny, urban, literary” debut from a Curtis Brown student.

Associate publisher Ravi Mirchandani acquired world rights in all languages to Nightshift by Kiare Ladner, from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. It will be published by the Pan Macmillan imprint in autumn 2019.

South African-born Ladner is currently a student at the literary agency’s novel-writing course, and was awarded its HW Fisher scholarship for a writer with low income.

Mirchandani described the novel, which he bought at pre-empt, as “an immensely exciting debut, a novel of nights and shifts, between gay and straight, sober and carried away; of how it is possible both to find oneself in the city or to become lost entirely; of obsession and the sheer mysteriousness of ourselves and others”.

“As the capital becomes ever more different from the rest of the country, it is not simply a wonderfully-observed novel of London, but a journey through the seductions and dangers of any great world city,” he said.

Summerhayes added: “I have been seeking a dark, wry and funny urban literary novel for quite some time.  And I found one at last. Kiare is an amazing new talent and she, Ravi and Team Picador really is the dream team for Nightshift.”

Ladner is based in London and has an MA from the creative writing course at the University of East Anglia, for which she won the David Higham Literary Agency Bursary Award.

Her short stories have appeared in Wasafiri, Lightship Anthology 1, New Contrast and Eclectica.

She said: “All I keep thinking is that being published by Picador would be a dream come true except I'd never even dared dream it. I am so excited to be working with Picador's team on my book.”

Curtis Brown Creative launched eight years ago and last month it was announced that bestselling author Marian Keyes will fund a £2,600 place on Curtis Brown’s online six-month writing course for one “talented writer with limited financial means”.