Pushkin bags Vercher's latest 'propulsive and gritty' novel

Pushkin bags Vercher's latest 'propulsive and gritty' novel

Pushkin Vertigo is to publish John Vercher's latest novel, After the Lights Go Out, in spring 2022. 

Editor Harriet Wade acquired UK and commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from David Hale Smith at Inkwell Management.

The novel follows Mixed Martial Arts fighter Xavier Wallace, and his struggle with dementia.

The synopsis states: "After the Lights Go Out is the propulsive and gritty story of Xavier ‘Scarecrow’ Wallace, a biracial Black MMA fighter struggling with pugilistic dementia as well as with caring for his White father suffering with end-stage Alzheimer’s. Reinstated after a year-long suspension, Xavier is offered a comeback fight in the largest MMA promotion. After a sparring session goes horribly wrong, Xavier is told he must throw his return fight or suffer potentially deadly consequences."

Vercher’s debut novel, the recently published Three-Fifths (also Pushkin Vertigo), was named a Guardian and Sunday Times thriller of the month.

Vercher holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Mountainview Master of Fine Arts programme. Commenting on the forthcoming publication, he said: "I’m delighted to be published again by the phenomenal team at Pushkin Press. I’m so grateful for how they published Three-Fifths and thrilled they saw something in this new novel."

Wade added: "Everything I loved about Three-Fifths and more is here in this superb novel. Beautifully crafted with an astute eye for detail, this is a complete gut-punch of a novel. I had to take a long walk after reading that ending! I’m delighted to be continuing to publish John at Pushkin Vertigo."

The novel will be published in spring 2022.