Novelist Gwendoline Riley is to move from Jonathan Cape to Granta with her next novel, First Love, which was acquired after a "closely-fought" three-way auction.
Commissioning editor at Granta, Anne Meadows, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to First Love and a second - as-yet untitled - novel, from Zoë Waldie at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
First Love is an account of an embattled marriage between a young writer and an older man "as it waivers from relative peace to turbulent confrontation."
Meadows said: “Gwendoline Riley’s work has been praised for exploring ‘the wasted hinterlands of the human heart'. First Love goes further. It is an exploration of a toxic relationship between two people so unsuited to one another, so harmful to one another, it is a marvel that either can survive.
"I read First Love in a matter of hours and it disassembled me completely. It is as precise and annihilating as Elena Ferrante’s Days of Abandonment, but Riley’s dark, glittering humour and her perfectly crafted sentences are uniquely her own. First Love is exactly what I have been looking for these past five years at Granta: an unashamedly cerebral, frightening, dazzling novel by a British writer of seemingly limitless talents. I look forward to bringing Riley’s work to new readers.”
Riley's previous novels Cold Water, Sick Notes, Joshua Spassky, and Opposed Positions were published by Jonanthan Cape.
Granta will publish First Love in the spring of 2017.