The Borough Press has acquired two novels with an "international focus": The Nine-Chambered Heart by Indian author Janice Pariat and Stephen Florida by Publishers Weekly fiction reviews editor Gabe Habash.
The Nine-Chambered Heart by Pariat is a "compact yet kaleidoscopic work" in which nine characters recall their relationships with the same woman – whom they have all loved or been loved by. It leads the reader between East and West, told in multiple voices and across many years, exploring themes of truth, judgement, feminism and self-perception.
In the first UK deal for Pariat, Holly Ainley, commissioning editor at Borough Press acquired World English (excluding India) rights from Marina Penalva at The Pontas Agency.
Udayan Mitra, publisher at Fourth Estate India, who will be publishing the book in India, described Pariat’s writing as "exquisite" and "reminiscent of the work of a young Jhumpa Lahiri". Pariat has previously won the Sahitya Akademi Young Writer Award and Crossword Book Award.
Meanwhile, Stephen Florida is the debut by Publishers Weekly fiction reviews editor Gabe Habash. An "exhilarating, daring story" of a college wrestler haunted by his past, it is a chronicle of one man’s loneliness, obsession and drive to leave a mark. Published in the US earlier this month by Coffee House Press it has already garnered endorsements from Hanya Yanagihara and Garth Greenwell.
Ainley acquired UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights from Stephanie Koven at Cullen Stanley International, on behalf of PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit.
Ainley commented: "Stylistically these novels couldn’t be more different but what I was drawn to in both was the powerful central character. Gabe’s writing is startlingly good and Stephen Florida is a fascinating creation: at once intense, explicit and frenzied while also incredibly vulnerable and moving. Janice uses multiple voices to create a portrait of a woman who has no voice herself. The effect is at once extraordinarily intimate and provocatively remote, highlighting the distance that can exist between our ‘true’ selves and others’ perceptions of us. Both books are incredibly powerful."
Borough Press released the trade paperback of Stephen Florida in Australia this June along with a UK edition of the e-book. The UK hardback will follow in October 2017. Fourth Estate (HarperCollins India) will publish The Nine-Chambered Heart in hardback in November 2017 and Borough Press will publish in hardback in May 2018.