Bloomsbury has snapped up the new novel by the winner of the Walter Scott Prize, Benjamin Myers
Alexa von Hirschberg, Senior Commissioning Editor, has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights in The Offing and a collection of stories, Male Tears, from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates.
Set in the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay in the aftermath of the Second World War, The Offing is the story of an unlikely friendship between Robert, a young lad from the Durham coalfields, and Dulcie, an eccentric older woman mourning the death of her female poet lover. Dulcie educates Robert about poetry and food, turning the course of his life around.
The stories in Male Tears are broadly concerned with masculinity and morality – weak men, inadequate men, cruel men. But also strong women. One of the stories was a runner-up for the Tom Gallon Prize, awarded two weeks ago.
Von Hirschberg said: ‘Ben Myers is an incredibly talented writer who I have admired for quite some time. The Offing is an exquisite novel that I am confident will bring him even more devoted fans. Less dark and violent than his previous work, but no less complex, it explores land, class, literature and friendship in beautiful prose. And, as with all his work, it immerses us in the glorious northern landscape. I am thrilled to be bringing Ben to Bloomsbury.’
Benjamin Myers replied: ‘Bloomsbury are purveyors of the finest quality literature – not just in their superior content, but they make books that look amazing and feel great in the hand, and these things matter. They punch above their weight in terms of success and were top of my dream list of publishers. In fact, no-one else was on the list. I’m very excited and flattered to be a part of their formidable roster of writers.’
His agent Jessica Woollard commented: ‘Ben Myers has had an amazing prize-winning year, Alexa von Hirschberg likewise. Bringing these two creative people together is going to be really exciting. With Alexa and her talented team at Bloomsbury behind him, Ben Myers, who is already such a prolific and multi-talented writer is someone we’re all going to be talking a lot about in the years to come’.
Benjamin Myers’ previous books include a work of non-fiction, Under The Rock (May 2018, Elliott & Thompson), The Gallows Pole (2018, Bluemoose), winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the recipient of Roger Deakin Award, Beastings (2014, Bluemoose) winner of the Portico Prize For Literature, the recipient of the Northern Writers’ Award and longlisted for a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award, Pig Iron (2012, Bluemoose), winner of the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize,and Richard (2010, Picador). He has also published two ‘folk crime’ novels, Turning Blue and These Darkening Days.
The Offing will be published in spring 2020.
For more information please contact Ros Ellis in the Bloomsbury press office at firstname.lastname@example.org