Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Faber buys new Kingsolver
20.04.09 Catherine Neilan writing in The Bookseller

Faber has signed up the first novel by The Poisonwood Bible author Barbara Kingsolver (left) in nearly 10 years. Editor and director Hannah Griffiths struck the six-figure deal for UK and Commonwealth rights to The Lacuna through literary agent David Grossman. Publication will take place simultaneously worldwide in November.

Set in Mexico and the US during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, the novel tells the story of fictional Harrison Shepherd, who works for Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Shepherd becomes the confidante of Rivera's artist wife, Frida Kahlo, and then secretary to her one-time lover, Trotsky, until his assassination.
Shepherd later flees Mexico for the US, where he becomes a bestselling author before coming under a McCarthy-style investigation.

The Lacuna is told through Shepherd's diaries and letters, as well as newspaper cuttings, which Griffiths said gave it a "chronicle" feel. She described it as "without doubt the most extraordinary novel I have read for years". She added: "The interesting thing is the way she interweaves real documents and real lives into the story. The word ‘lacuna' itself has many different meanings and she manages to encompass most of them in the book: a cave, a missing text, a gap —all these things are really relevant to the story."

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