Tinder Press has acquired a "wholly original" memoir from Xanthi Barker about her relationship with her father, poet Sebastian Barker, titled Will This House Last Forever?.
Mary-Anne Harrington, publisher at Tinder Press, acquired world rights from Milly Reilly at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency. Reilly described the book as "one of the most moving and delicate accounts of grief I've ever read".
Will This House Last Forever? explores Barker’s relationship with her father, who died when she was in her mid-20s, and the experience of grieving for an "eccentric, charismatic" man who was absent for most of her life. The memoir records her sense of unreality in the aftermath of her father’s death and the experience of growing up in the shadow of a larger-than-life and contradictory figure who put poetry first. A version of the first chapter of the title was highly commended in the 2018 Spread the Word Life Writing Prize.
Harrington said: "This tenderly written and wholly original memoir had me enchanted from its first extraordinary pages. It is a book that will speak powerfully to anyone who has experienced the pain of having to come to terms with the loss of a parent, and its clarity and candour mark it out as something entirely singular. I think it’s a classic of the grief memoir genre, and we couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming Xanthi Barker to Tinder Press."
Barker, who lives in London and works in education, said: "This book began in the weeks after my dad died and has evolved out of fragments, letters and conversations over the past six years, so it is both terrifying and unbelievable to think of it out there in the world. Grief is so long and complicated and strange, I hope this book might keep someone company there."
Tinder Press will publish Will This House Last Forever? in June 2021.