Showcase – Spring 2020 Fiction highlights
21st November, 2019
Oneworld showcase its Spring 2020 highlights last night as publisher Juliet Mabey toasted ten years of success.
Authors, booksellers and journalists gathered at Soho House to preview highlights from Spring 2020 as co-founder Mabey kicked off the evening by telling the audience: “I was told by all my friends from the publishing industry not to start a fiction list under any circumstances.”
BBC broadcaster and literary podcaster Joe Haddow, interviewed six authors from across Oneworld’s three fiction imprints about their latest work.
Author Tayari Jones, who scooped Oneworld’s first Women’s Prize for Fiction earlier this year with An American Marriage, introduced her next novel, Silver Sparrow, which Oneworld will publish in March 2020. In the UK for the first time since her award win in June, Jones said Silver Sparrow is a dramatic exploration of family told through the eyes of two sisters growing up in Atlanta and dedicated to her own sister.
Representing Oneworld’s crime imprint, Point Blank, Black River by Will Dean is the third novel featuring deaf reporter Tuva Moodyson. The series is already building a list of high-profile fans, including Mark Billingham and Val McDermid and TV rights for his debut Dark Pines, have been optioned by Lionsgate.
Next was Samanta Schweblin, reading in both English and Spanish from her new novel, Little Eyes. Her previous novella Fever Dream was shortlisted for the International Man Booker Prize, and her collection of short stories, Mouthful of Birds, was longlisted for the same prize earlier this year.
Manchester-based Ugandan writer and Windham-Campbell Prize winner Jennifer Makumbi spoke about the influences behind The First Woman, a powerful feminist folktale rooted in Ugandan mythology and the companion novel to her acclaimed debut, Kintu.
Children’s author Damien Love introduced his debut novel, Monstrous Devices, which will be published by Oneworld’s Rock the Boat imprint in March. Anthony Horowitz said of the book: “I wish my first novel had been as imaginative and assured.’ Monstrous Devices is quite literally, unputdownable.”
Irish author and award-winning poet Caoilinn Hughes, whose debut novel Orchid & the Wasp won the 2019 Collyer Bristow London Magazine Prize, discussed her second novel, The Wild Laughter. The book is “a timeless tragedy” set in post-crash, rural Ireland that the author took nine years to write.
Ten years after Oneworld branched into fiction the indie has published back-to-back Man Booker winners – Marlon James in 2015 and Paul Beatty in 2016 – and won the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Reflecting on the decade and the upcoming list, Mabey said: “The first ten years have been amazing, and I’m so proud of what Oneworld, a small, independent company has achieved. But I’m just as excited about the next ten years, and as tonight has demonstrated, we have some extraordinary, inspiring and brilliant authors, and our list just gets better and better.”