Serpent’s Tail has bought two books from British novelist James Clarke, including "an extraordinary portrait of a Lancashire valley and its inhabitants".
Hannah Westland, publisher at the London-based indie press, acquired world rights to Hollow in the Land, a novel-in-stories, and Sanderson’s Folly, a novel, from Ludo Cinelli at the Eve White Agency. Serpent’s Tail will publish Hollow in the Land in hardback in April 2020 and Sanderson’s Folly in 2022.
Clarke was born in Manchester in 1985, and grew up in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire. He studied English at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the Manchester Writing School in 2017. His debut novel, The Litten Path, was published by Salt in 2018.
Westland said: "Hollow in the Land is an extraordinary portrait of a Lancashire valley and its inhabitants, which illuminates wider contemporary conversations about who we are and how we live our lives. From the promise of adolescence to the disappointments of adulthood, Clarke’s writing is unsentimental but retains a deep empathy for the lives it is describing.”
She added: "With echoes of Jon McGregor, Sarah Hall, and David Szalay, James Clarke is a writer with a major career ahead of him."
Clarke commented: "I had a really good feeling about Serpent's Tail from the moment they first expressed an interest in me, and since signing with them, working with Hannah has been a dream. This is a house that has published such amazing writing over the years, what an honour to join their respected list."