Picador has acquired two collections of stories by Danielle Evans in a multi-publisher auction.
Ansa Khan Khattak, commissioning editor, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Margaret Halton at PEW Literary, on behalf of Ayesha Pande Literary. The deal sees Picador acquire new collection The Office of Historical Corrections and her debut Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, which won the PEN/Robert Bingham Prize when it was released in 2011 by Clearway in the US.
The publisher said: “The stories in The Office of Historical Corrections, Danielle Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to black and multi-racial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief – all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history – about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight.”
Khattak said: “Danielle Evans is a major talent. That the stories in The Office of Historical Corrections are so varied in tone and subject is testament to her extraordinary skill as a short story writer. Yet there runs through all of them the same urgent exploration of history, race, and the repercussions of challenging collective memory; the title novella centres on the controversy over a campaign to correct a memorial by also naming the perpetrators of a racially motivated historical crime.”
Evans added: “I’m so thrilled to be working with Picador, and for these books to have a UK home. I love the short story form, and especially the short story collection, because as a writer you can revisit the questions that haunt you and come up with different answers every time. The work can be both intimate and expansive, and I hope new readers find that range in these stories, which are about grief, relationships, and coming of age, and also about history, race, and living in an age of pervasive anxiety.”
Picador will publish The Office of Historical Corrections in June 2021, followed by Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self in early 2022.