Picador triumphs in nine-way auction for 'sharp' Moss novel

Picador triumphs in nine-way auction for 'sharp' Moss novel

Picador has scooped the “heart-stopping” new novel from Sarah Moss in a six-figure deal following a heated nine-way auction.

Editor Kishani Widyaratna acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including audio, for A Day Like Today and one other book from Anna Webber at United Agents. The novel, a multi-voice narrative set in a Scottish holiday park over the course of one fateful rainy summer’s day, is being hailed by Picador as its standout literary publication for autumn 2020.

Described as “swift, sharp and dark”, the book follows a group of residents and their growing animosity to a noisy outsider family staying at the park, with tension mounting to a devastating climax.

Widyaratna said: “There are few writers at work today writing with the ambition, intellect and skill of Sarah Moss. Acquisition announcements are often prone to hyperbole but none is needed with Sarah as her body of work more than speaks for itself.

“It’s an honour for all of us at Picador to welcome her to the list, and we can’t wait to get started on A Day Like Today. As a novel of our current moment, it is heart-stopping while remaining deeply humane and clear-sighted. It is a novel that only Sarah could write.”

Moss is the author of six novels and her memoir of a year living in Iceland, Names for the Sea (Granta), was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. Ghost Wall (Granta), her most recent novel, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize and shortlisted for the Ondaatje.

She said: “This is an exciting new beginning for me, and I can’t wait to start working on the new book with Kishani.”

Webber said all the publishers vying for the novel had been “passionate” in their pursuit. She explained: “In the end, Picador carried the day with an ambitious and carefully thought-out publication plan, and I am hugely looking forward to working with Kishani Widyaratna and the whole Picador team to take Sarah Moss’s publishing to the next level.”

The move also sees the author’s US and UK publishing brought together at Macmillan as she is published by Jenna Johnson at FSG in the States.