Announcing Sarah Perry’s third novel, Melmoth

14 September 2017

Melmoth manuscript

We’re over the moon to announce that we’ve acquired Melmoth: the new novel from Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent.

Inspired by Charles Maturin’s forgotten gothic masterpiece Melmoth the Wanderer, Melmoth begins in the present day, and takes its ensemble cast of characters on a spectacular journey through time. Dazzlingly inventive, terrifying and beautiful, it will make readers think deeply about the human capacity for good and evil and how often the two are intertwined. This is a novel that transcends easy categorisations of gothic or literary fiction to speak urgently to our time.

Publisher Hannah Westland says: ‘I never doubted that Sarah’s next book would be even more ambitious and impressive than The Essex Serpent. Because Sarah is a writer of such original talent, intellect and energy, the question was never how good the book would be, but what shape it might take. It is impossible to describe just how breathtaking, moving and haunting Melmoth is. I have never read anything quite like it, and we can’t wait to publish next year.’

Sarah Perry says: ‘Both my wonderful agent Jenny Hewson and Hannah Westland at Serpent’s Tail understood exactly what I wanted to achieve and met this book with more love and enthusiasm than I’d dared hope. So I’m thrilled to be working again with Hannah and my friends at Serpent’s Tail: they’ve been my home since the beginning and I know Melmoth couldn’t be in better hands.’

Hannah Westland acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada with exclusive Europe from Jenny Hewson at Rogers, Coleridge & White. Serpent’s Tail will publish in autumn 2018.

Sarah Perry’s second novel The Essex Serpent (2016) has sold 450,000 copies across all Serpent’s Tail editions and was a number one bestseller.

It was the Waterstones Book of the Year 2016 and won British Book Awards for Fiction Book of the Year, Book of the Year and Publicity Campaign of the Year, as well as the BAMB Beautiful Book Award. It was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award, International Dylan Thomas and RSL Encore prizes and longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Wellcome and the Walter Scott prizes.

RCW have sold rights to The Essex Serpent in 20 territories so far. Television rights were bought by See Saw Films (Love, Nina, Top of the Lake) and a dramatisation is currently in development.

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