Mix the high-octane emotions of youth with the freedom of leaving home and you’ve brewed up a potent new book category called "New Adult."
Navigating the exhilarating, sometimes dangerous chasm between adolescence and adulthood, these novels — aimed at readers out of high school — are roaring up the best-seller list. The setting often is a college campus and the vibe is intense as only young love can be. It’s sex, bad boys, too much drama and, if you consulted the characters’ parents, not nearly enough library time!
Orange Prize-winner Helen Dunmore is moving from Penguin to Hutchinson, with Cornerstone publisher Selina Walker acquiring her next two books.
Walker bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in two novels by Dunmore from Caradoc King of A P Watt at United Agents. The first, The Lie, is set during and just after the First World War. It tells the story of the relationship between two young men from very different backgrounds, one of whom is killed in France.
Walker said: “The Lie is a heart-wrenching story about love, memory and loss, about growing up in Cornwall in the early 20th century, about the horrors of war on the Western Front as well as its traumatic aftermath.”
Dunmore has published nine novels with Penguin, including the Orange Prize-winning A Spell of Winter, and her 2010 novel The Betrayal which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize:
Two unpublished young authors have landed themselves £10,000 book deals after winning the first Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers prize.
Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle, 25, from New Jersey, and The Rig by Joe Ducie, 24, from Perth, Australia, will both be published by Hot Key Books on 5 September this year. The books were named joint winners of the award, for new writers between 18 and 25 writing for readers between 13 and 19 years old. They were picked by a panel of judges including the Guardian’s Julia Eccleshare, authors Will Hill and Elen Caldecott, bookseller John Newman and Hot Key Books publisher Emily Thomas.
Thomas said their win marked the arrival of "two fantastic new voices" in young adult fiction.
Granta has released its 2013 list of the 20 most promising young British novelists under 40, and for the first time there is a majority of women. It is also an extremely international list: the writers’ backgrounds include China, Nigeria, Ghana, the US, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Naomi Alderman (born 1974), author of books including The Liars’ Gospel and designer of computer games.
Tahmima Anam (1975), whose Bengal Trilogy charts Bangladeshi history from the war of independence onwards.
Ned Beauman (1985), who was longlisted for the Man Booker prize for The Teleportation Accident.
Jenni Fagan (1977), whose debut, The Panopticon, was published 2012. She is also a poet.
Adam Foulds (1974) won the Costa poetry prize for his poem about the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. His novels include The Quickening Maze, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker.
Xiaolu Guo (1973) was shortlisted for the Orange prize for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.
Sarah Hall (1974) has won and been shortlisted for many awards for her novels, which include How To Paint a Dead Man.
Steven Hall (1975) has published one novel, The Raw Shark Texts, which won the Somerset Maugham award.
Joanna Kavenna (1973), whose books include Come to the Edge, won the Orange prize for new writing.
Benjamin Markovits (1973) turned from professional basketball playing to writing, including a trilogy on the life of Lord Byron.
Nadifa Mohamed (1981) was born in Somalia and won the Betty Trask award for her debut, Black Mamba Boy.
Helen Oyeyemi (1984) is the author of three novels including White is for Witching.
Ross Raisin (1979) is the author of God’s Own Country, shortlisted for the Guardian first book award, and Waterline.
Sunjeev Sahota (1981) is working on his second novel, The Year of the Runaways.
Taiye Selasi (1979) has just published her debut, Ghana Must Go.
Kamila Shamsie (1973) has written five novels; the most recent, Burnt Shadows, was shortlisted for the Orange prize.
Zadie Smith (1975) is the author of four novels. The latest is NW. She was on the Granta list in 2003.
David Szalay (1974) is the author of three novels: London and the South-east, The Innocent and Spring.
Adam Thirlwell (1974) has written two novels and was on the Granta list in 2003.
Evie Wyld (1980) publishes her second novel, All the Birds, Singing, in June.
A substantial Guardian profile of Melvin Burgess includes mention of his new novel:
His latest novel, The Hit, is a dystopian thriller set in the future, which imagines a new pill known as Death. The chemistry is hazy but the concept is clear: this drug will give you the time of your life, an unbelievable high lasting a week, and then you will die. Burgess’s teenage hero Adam takes the drug. The novel is about what happens next.
Unusually, the idea for the book was offered to Burgess by someone else. Brandon Robshaw and Joe Chislett are philosophy teachers who came up with the idea of a week‑to-live drug with a group of students. They wrote a manuscript and sent it to Barry Cunningham, founder of Chicken House publishing, who bought the first Harry Potter novel for Bloomsbury before quitting to set up on his own.
Cunningham liked the idea but not the draft, so he offered Robshaw and Chislett a fee and set up a meeting with Burgess. The men got on well; Burgess made the story work on his second attempt, using many of the original elements and introducing new ones – including a beefed-up role for Adam’s girlfriend Lizzie. The book is dedicated to his two "co-conspirators".
as reported by John Harris in The Guardian (worth reading in full):
[Tim Waterstone] is also about to return to bookselling as non-executive chairman of a new venture called Read Petite. This will be launched to the trade at next week’s London Book Fair, and to the public in the autumn. An online outlet for short-form ebooks (fiction and non-fiction), its users will pay a monthly subscription – “a few pounds” – and have unlimited access to texts of around 9,000 words or under.
But this is no literary Spotify, offering hundreds of thousands of items with little quality control: Waterstone is insistent the service will be “curated” to ensure a high standard. Authors will have appeared in traditional print, and have been brought to Read Petite by a publisher. “The individual short story, or whatever it is, may not have been published, but the author will be an established, published writer,” he says, drumming his fingers on the table to emphasis those last three words. “The whole point is to avoid a slush-pile of material. What we’ll guarantee is quality writing.”
Read Petite’s name was inspired by Reet Petite, Jackie Wilson’s 1957 rhythm and blues classic. One of its key players, former Bookseller editor Neill Denny, has come along to further explain what it is all about. The pair are particularly excited about the chance to serialise new fiction à la Charles Dickens, reintroducing readers to the long-forgotten art of the cliffhanger. They enthuse about how e-readers seem to have increased people’s appetite for short-form writing. In the US, the New York Times has reported on a resurgence of the short story, benefiting new and established writers. We talk about such short-story masters as Somerset Maugham, Stephen King and Annie Proulx, and why the publishing industry has never quite managed to market the form.
“A lot of the best short fiction has never been properly exposed, because publishers don’t find it commercially comfortable,” says Waterstone. His bookselling business did have success with Graham Greene’s short stories, but such successes were rare. “Even with a collection, how do you package it? It’s difficult in print: traditionally, money was used up on production and distribution, and not enough was left for promotion. In the digital world, production costs are virtually nil, and distribution costs don’t exist, so you’re left with a much cleaner sheet.”