Lee Brackstone has struck a two-book deal with Jasper Gibson in his first acquisition for Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Brackstone pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights for The Octopus Man and one other book by Jasper Gibson from Clare Conville at C&W. It is Brackstone's first acquisition since joining Orion Group this summer where he will also set up a new music imprint, White Rabbit.
The Octopus Man kicks off Brackstone’s list of adventurous literary writers at W&N and will be released in Spring 2021 in hardback and ebook. The C&W rights team will be selling international rights at Frankfurt.
According to the synopsis: “The Octopus Man is narrated by Tom, a man with a schizophrenia diagnosis who hears the voice of Malamock, also known as the Octopus God. Partly set in a psychiatric institution, the novel explores Tom’s co-dependent relationship with this voice, to whom he is accountable and in thrall, with a deft poignancy and dark humour.”
Brackstone, who left Faber in June after nearly 25 years at the indie, said: “This book has such heart, integrity and intelligence. It marries a propulsive narrative engagement with a distinct literary style. I was completely knocked out by the credibility of the voice and I have a strong sense this is the kind of literary novel that will speak to a very broad demographic. I’m thrilled to get some runs on the board at W&N. It is such a confident and vibrant place to be right now.”
Gibson added: “It means a great deal to be Lee's first acquisition for W&N. If nothing else this novel is about belief, so I am honoured and excited to be part of W&N's leap of faith. It was a difficult book to write, on a challenging and serious subject, but if everyone in the world buys a copy that means I can get a giant mechanical giraffe.”
Gibson is the author of one previous novel, A Bright Moon For Fools, which was self-published and then picked up by Simon & Schuster.