Scribner is to publish two novels by debut writer Indyana Schneider, who is also an opera singer.
Dubbed "a queer take on 'When Harry met Sally' for the Sally Rooney generation", 28 Questions was acquired by editorial director Chris White, who purchased world English language rights to the novel and a second book, from Judith Murray at Greene & Heaton, for an undisclosed sum.
The novel follows two Oxford University students who become friends and gradually fall in love. The synopsis describes it as "suffused with music, literature, film, art and the pure pain and pleasure of first love. 28 Questions offers a queer take on that line from 'When Harry Met Sally' about men and women not being able to be friends because the sex always gets in the way."
Commenting on the acquisition, White said: "28 Questions has everything I look for in a novel. It’s romantic, allusive, moving, sensual, fiercely intelligent and often deeply funny. Indy’s writing is influenced by some of the literary greats but she has a voice all of her own. It reminded me in some ways of Richard Linklater’s film 'Before Sunrise'. By the end I felt like I knew each character intimately and I just wanted to go straight back to the beginning so that I could spend more time in their company. Happily for me, I now get to do this and call it work. A new star is about to appear in the literary firmament and I’m so excited that it will be found in the Scribner constellation."
Schneider said: "Chris is clearly a publishing wizard who really believes in the potential of 28 Questions and I’m so thrilled to be working with him and Scribner/Simon & Schuster. Who wouldn’t be? Aside from its rich literary heritage, I adore the authors on their list, and feel both honoured and lucky to be included amongst them."
28 Questions will be published in hardback, e-book and audio in early 2022, with the as yet untitled second novel due to appear in 2023.