Kishani Widyaratna, Picador Editor, has acquired UK & Commonwealth and exclusive European rights to publish a short story collection, salt slow, by Julia Armfield. The rights, won at auction from Sam Copeland at RCW, include an as-yet-untitled debut novel.
salt slow is a collection of stories about women and their experiences in society, the body and the bodily, mapping the skin and bones of its characters through their experiences of isolation, obsession and love. Throughout the collection, women transform into insects, men turn to stone, a city becomes insomniac and bodies are picked apart to make up better ones. The story ‘The Great Awake’ won the 2018 The White Review Short Story Prize, judged by authors Chloe Aridjis and Sam Byers among others.
The novel will focus on a group of women in a strange facility, in which treatment may be taking a turn for the monstrous. As the women's stories unfold and their bodies become less their own, the reader gradually uncovers how each inmate came to be there and the price that may have to be paid for escape.
salt slow will be published on 30 May 2019.
Kishani Widyaratna, who is also a contributing editor at The White Review, said:
“It couldn’t give me greater pleasure than that I might be able to bring my White Review and Picador worlds together in welcoming Julia to Picador; both these places represent a passion for championing and supporting the most exceptional writers into lifelong careers.
To me Julia is one of those exceptional writing talents, she’s fiercely smart, daring, formally accomplished and hugely imaginative. Her stories form a renegade queer literature full of feminine desire, acerbic wit and the most monstrous body horror you could hope for.”
Julia Armfield added:
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been taken on by Picador and incredibly excited to work with Kish, who perceives with such clarity the shape I have been hoping this collection will take.”
Sam Copeland said:
“The minute I started reading Julia’s work whilst judging the Deborah Rogers Foundation Prize, I knew there was something special. She is a wonderful talent, a beautiful writer and her work is that rarest of things: different.”