Orion imprint Weidenfeld & Nicolson (W&N) has snapped up an “astonishingly good” debut by Naoise Dolan in a seven-way auction.
Commissioning editor, Lettice Franklin, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in a two-book deal from Harriet Moore at David Higham Associates. Edith and Julian will be published in spring 2020.
The book’s synopsis reads: “Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children. Julian is a banker who likes to spend money on Ava but when she asks whether he loves her, cannot say more than ‘I like you a great deal’. Enter Edith, a lawyer, who Ava meets while Julian is away for work and has an urge to talk very fast to. Ava doesn't tell Edith about Julian, and she doesn't tell Julian about Edith, and by the time Edith is Ava's girlfriend it's too late. And then Julian writes to tell Ava he's coming back. Will she return to the safety of the quarantined, witty dynamic with Julian, or risk facing love—vulnerable and exposed for the first time—with Edith?”
Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin who studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University. Edith and Julian is her first novel, an excerpt from which was published in the Stinging Fly magazine.
Franklin said: “With rare wit, deep intelligence and the sharpest prose, Naoise Dolan has breathed fresh life into one of our essential stories: the love triangle. Alongside this love story runs an exceptionally candid and clever consideration of our modern world, as Naoise peels off a protective layer to reveal how every encounter, every utterance, every emotion is tied to class and money. Edith and Julian is an astonishingly good, deeply enjoyable debut – and I feel absolutely certain that it marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.”
“I had a lot of fun writing Edith and Julian, but definitely wasn’t expecting this level of response,” Dolan said. “Harriet has been the most formidable champion I could ask for, and in Lettice I know I’ll have another brilliant advocate. I’m so excited to work with them and W&N to get the book out.”
Moore added: “I couldn’t be happier that this slyly humorous, fiercely smart, politically alert debut novel will be published with intelligence, brio and ambition by Lettice and W&N.”