Serpent’s Tail has acquired an “irresistibly surreal” debut short story collection by Alice Ash.
Serpent’s Tail Publisher Hannah Westland along with editorial assistant Leonora Craig Cohen jointly acquired UK & Commonwealth rights excluding audio from Zoe Ross at United Agents for Paradise Block in a two-book deal which includes Ash’s debut novel, to be published at a future date. Paradise Block was described as “irresistibly surreal” by the publisher and is scheduled for publication in hardback in February 2021.
Ash’s story 'Eggs' was longlisted for the Galley Beggar Prize 2019, and her writing has been featured or is forthcoming in Hotel, 3:AM Magazine, the TLS, Popshot Quarterly, Mslexia, and Galavant Literary Journal amongst others. The Brighton-based author has performed her writing at the Beyond the Sheets conference at Goldsmiths University, at the Brighton Fringe Festival, as well as Lit Live in London, and the launch of Corda Magazine.
“With a haunting sense of place and a keen eye for the absurd, Alice Ash has great things ahead of her,” says Cohen. “A young girl boils nothing but eggs in a burnt-out flat, an isolated old woman makes a new friend while hunting for scrap metal, and a mail-order bride grows frustrated with her unappreciative husband, the caretaker of creaking, dilapidated Paradise Block. The stories are both playful and sinister, making us feel the loneliness of characters who live in close proximity while experiencing chronic disconnection.”
Ash said: “When writing my collection, I wanted to play with the boundaries of reality, with the uneven nature of perspective and place, as well as with the form of the short story itself. Having been influenced by many of the innovative titles at Serpent’s Tail, I knew this would be the right place for my work. I am overjoyed to have found an inspiring connection with Leonora and Hannah and a home at Serpent's Tail.”