Elena Lappin's Pushkin Press imprint ONE, which publishes one "exceptional" fiction or non-fiction title per season, has done its first world rights deal for a debut novel by 32-year-old American writer Ted McDermott
Lappin acquired McDermott’s The Minor Outsider from Norah Perkins at Curtis Brown.
Lappin discovered the novel after McDermott contacted her via LinkedIn, having noticed she had looked at his profile. He included a link to an excerpt from his novel in Vice magazine. In fact, Lappin had viewed McDermott’s profile completely by accident but she read his story in Vice and then asked to see the rest of the novel.
Lappin said: "I was deeply impressed by the emotional precision and beauty of Ted McDermott’s prose, and by his uncompromising take on how it feels to be young in America today. I read The Minor Outsider with real excitement at having inadvertently come across one of the best young voices in new American fiction, with major international resonance and appeal. Ted could be the new David Foster Wallace."
Perkins added: "Ted’s uncanny, brilliant debut The Minor Outsider deserves every bit of the cosmic luck that has come its way. His story of love and despair in a small university town is instantly engaging and disturbing, the writing so assured. And in Elena he’s got the perfect editor. It couldn’t have been more serendipitous."
McDermott wrote The Minor Outsider, the story of a doomed young love in a small town in Montana, while recovering from a serious hand injury he received when working as a baker. He said: "That a seemingly useless social networking site led me to Elena Lappin, to ONE and to the publication of my first novel seems like more than serendipity. Even my email program, which filed the publisher’s official offer in my spam folder, thought it was too good to be true. It took an unlikely route to get there, but The Minor Outsider couldn’t have found a better home."
ONE will publish The Minor Outsider in autumn 2016.