Weidenfeld & Nicolson has pre-empted a "major" and "convention-defying" Irish debut, Restless Souls by Dan Sheehan.
Sophie Buchan, senior commissioning editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pre-empted UK & Commonwealth rights from Cullen Stanley, managing director at Janklow & Nesbit US, on behalf of Kirby Kim. Publication is slated for early 2018.
The novel follows Tom, a haunted shell of his former self after he returns to Dublin after three years in the siege at Sarajevo. His childhood friends, Karl and Gus, know they are comically unqualified to help him through the darkness, but are determined to try by embarking on a journey for an unlikely cure: an experimental Californian PTSD clinic called Restless Souls. As they try to save Tom from his memories, they must also confront their own, though - of what happened to Gabriel, their fourth childhood friend.
Buchan said: "Restless Souls is gloriously, shockingly good. Sheehan takes you to the depths of human suffering in the most quotable Irish brogue. His book brings a whole new meaning to the line ‘makes you laugh out loud one minute and cry the next’. The fact he does that in a propulsive, page-turning road trip novel is nothing short of astonishing. The whole team at Orion fell truly, madly and deeply for Restless Souls. We’re exceptionally proud to be publishing this book."
Sheehan, who works at LitHub.com in New York, received his MFA from University College Dublin, and his fiction and non-fiction have appeared in publications including TriQuarterly, Guernica, the Irish Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Words Without Borders and Electric Literature and Icarus.
He said: "I’m delighted that Restless Souls has found such an incredible home at Weidenfeld & Nicolson."