Viking has pre-empted Our New Names, a “heartbreaking” debut novel from Khashayar J Khabushani.
Commissioning editor Isabel Wall bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Anna Webber at United Agents on behalf of Bill Clegg at The Clegg Agency. US rights sold earlier this month in a seven-way auction to Parisa Ebrahimi at Hogarth. It will be published by Viking in hardback, e-book and audio in 2022.
The synopsis reads: “Our New Names is a devastating, deeply-felt debut novel about the powerful bonds that make and break an Iranian-American family, and the journey a son must make in order to find his place in the world, moving from Los Angeles to Iran and eventually to New York, examining boyhood and brotherhood, violence and tenderness, queer identity and belonging.”
Los Angeles-born Khabushani is a graduate of the MFA creative writing programme at Columbia University who spent part of his childhood in Iran.
Wall said: “Our New Names is a searing, heartbreaking novel about a family being torn apart, and a boy emerging from its ashes as he makes his way through America, through the aftermath of 9/11. It’s an astonishingly beautiful work of art, full of beauty and anguish, pain and possibility. Khashayar is an immensely talented writer and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to Viking.”