The debut novel from former Daunt Books bookseller Ben Hinshaw will be published by Viking in spring 2022.
UK and Commonwealth rights for Exactly What You Mean were pre-empted from Anna Webber at United Agents.
The novel will span from Guernsey to the Californian wildfires. The synopsis reads: "Hinshaw's thrilling debut revolves around a cast of characters grappling with questions of infidelity and betrayal, the loss of innocence and the lies we tell. Hinshaw tells his story through the different points of view of the characters, often only revealing their true—and sometimes shocking or tragic—meaning to the reader rather than themselves."
Mary Mount, publisher, said: "It is rare to come across a writer who is able to combine such humour and such darkness, often within the same scene. His writing is out of this world, his characters are flawed and absolutely real, his images just brilliantly realised and utterly memorable. It's an incredibly exciting first book."
Hinshaw was a bookseller at Daunt Books for several years before relocating to the US in 2012 to study writing. He and his wife remained in California until last year, when they moved with their two young daughters to Guernsey, the island on which he was born and raised.