Shelf AwarenessSimon & Schuster's Gallery Books has launched Scout Press, which is devoted to publishing literary fiction. "We will publish ambitious, conversation-starting novelists who are pushing the boundaries of contemporary fiction while also creating books that will stand the test of time," said Gallery publisher Jennifer Bergstrom.
Scout's first three titles are debut novels: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg, the literary agent and memoirist, which will be published September 15; In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, fall 2015; and Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss, spring 2016.
The Times described Did You Ever Have a Family as a story set in Connecticut that "unfolds from multiple perspectives as characters deal with the aftermath of a deadly explosion. Mr. Clegg said the plot grew partly out of conversations he had with his brother, a carpenter who was in heating and plumbing school in Maine and described freakish accidents where a gas leak would blow up a house. As he began shaping the plot, Mr. Clegg was also interested in exploring themes of forgiveness and how people move on after a life-altering tragedy, after his crack addiction caused so much destruction in his life."
Cathy Langer, lead book buyer for Tattered Cover in Denver, Colo., told the Times "she recently tore into a galley of the book, nine months ahead of its release date. 'I knew who Bill Clegg was and was intrigued by the idea of his writing a novel,' she said. 'By Page 1, you're drawn in.' "