Simon & Schuster has bought a "unique" debut from an Australian author.
S&S ssistant fiction editor Carla Josephson bought UK, Commonwealth & ANZ rights in All These Perfect Strangers by Australian prize-winning author Aoife Clifford from Rebecca Ritchie and Clare Forster at Curtis Brown.
Clifford's first novel tells the story of Penelope Sheppard, whose life is weighed down with scandal and tragedy. Entry into university offers her the chance to reinvent herself among perfect strangers, until her secrets and lies come to light and a dangerous dilemma unfolds. Josephson said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be publishing All These Perfect Strangers. I received it on a Friday and read it in one satisfying gulp, barely coming up for air. Pen is a brilliantly unreliable narrator who pulls the reader into her world where the truth is constantly being revised and no one is who they seem. This is a unique and beautifully written debut and I’m delighted to welcome Aoife to S&S."
Due to be published in June 2016 as a paperback original, S&S Australia will publish All These Perfect Strangers in trade paperback the month before. North American rights are with Catherine Drayton at Inkwell. Clifford has already won two major Australian crime writing prizes in short story form: the Ned Kelly - SD Harvey Short Story Award and the Scarlet Stiletto. She was also shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger. In 2013, she was awarded an Australian Society of Author's mentorship for All These Perfect Strangers.
Clare Forster (Curtis Brown Australia) and Rebecca Ritchie (Curtis Brown London) said: "All These Perfect Strangers is an incredibly accomplished debut, packed with twists, turns and secrets. We are delighted that Simon & Schuster will be publishing Aoife Clifford in the UK and Australia and think this deal spells the start of a very bright future."