Melville House UK managing director Nikki Griffiths has bought a “poetic literary debut” about grief and loss in her first novel acquisition as m.d for the publisher.
Griffiths has bought world rights to debut Let Me Be Like Water by S K Perry from Laura West at David Higham Associates.
The novel tells the story of twenty-something Holly, who moves out of London to Brighton after the death of her boyfriend, to escape and begin to heal.
Griffiths said the tale was “markedly honest, poignant and ultimately cathartic novel which will ring true with many readers”.
“I was taken with the poetic beauty and emotional pull of the writing immediately”, she added. “It’s a book simultaneously about nothing and everything: about the humdrum yet extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship.
"The beautiful imagery of the sea and shore landscape muddled with the visceral grief of the main character is stunning. It brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, and made me laugh out loud at others with its realistic portrayals of friendship and life experiences."
Perry was longlisted for London's Young Poet Laureate in 2013 and was a resident artist at the Roundhouse in Camden and a Cityread Young Writer in Residence 2014.
She said: "I’m really inspired by the space they are making for fiction that experiments with form, and feel lucky that Holly's voice–in all its grief and healing–will have a home there."
Let Me Be Like Water will publish in May 2018.