Serpent's Tail signs David Gates

Serpent's Tail signs David Gates

Serpent's Tail has acquired a new story collection and a novella by David Gates.

Publisher Hannah Westland signed UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Suzanne Smith at Knopf.

A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me will collect ten stories, and be published in August 2015. As well as the short stories and novella, Serpent's Tail also signed paperback rights to Gates' debut 1991 novel, Jernigan, for its forthcoming classics list. Jernigan was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Westland said: "David Gates writes with scathing honesty, humour and huge insight about people whose lives are in all sorts of disarray – crumbling marriages, crumbling second marriages, gentle alcoholism, extreme alcoholism, infidelity, drug dependency, bad parenting, terminal illness, career disappointment, romantic disappointment, and the unavoidable march towards death. He has rightly been talked of as an heir to Raymond Carver and John Cheever, and it is a huge honour to be publishing his new book as well as Jernigan, which is my all-time favourite American novel."