Aardvark Bureau publisher-at-large Scott Pack has acquired UK and BC rights excluding Canada to THE CHILDREN’S HOME, a chilling new novel by Charles Lambert . The two-book deal, with the novel PRODIGAL to follow in 2017, was brokered by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann. Scott published Charles’s innovative and acclaimed memoir WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART at The Friday Project and author and editor are now reunited at the new Belgravia imprint, Aardvark Bureau. Nan Graham and John Glynn of Scribner pre-empted earlier for North American rights to THE CHILDREN’S HOME, which will come out both sides of the Atlantic at the start of 2016.
In THE CHILDREN’S HOME shocking disfigured recluse Morgan never leaves the country mansion he is heir to. His isolation is only punctuated by the presence of his housekeeper, Engel, and the weekly visits of kindly Doctor Crane. But his solitary existence is disturbed when a young boy and girl arrive in the house, as if from nowhere. Drawn to the mysterious children, Morgan lets them stay, and with the help of Engel and Crane, begins to care for them – and others who soon follow them, in a strange Pied Piper-ish reversal. As the strangely wise children explore the corridors and abandoned rooms of the house, they reveal to Morgan a cabinet of curiosities – and bitter secrets of his own life.
Scott Pack says: “I'll be honest, I got a bit emotional when Charles said he wanted to come with me to Aardvark Bureau. I was thrilled that I would still be working with him. And then he delivered his most remarkable book yet. THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a masterpiece – disturbing and beautiful in equal measure – and I cannot wait to share it with the reading public.”
Charles Lambert says: “I was delighted when Scott invited me to be part of Aardvark Bureau at the start of its journey. He has courage, the kind of editorial sensitivity writers dream of and, last but not least, great commercial acumen. More than anything, Scott is a man who loves books. It's a privilege to work with him.”
Agent Isobel Dixon adds: “It’s a huge pleasure to seal this deal re-uniting a great author-publisher duo. We’re getting passionate pre-publication praise for THE CHILDREN’S HOME and are excited to share this brilliantly eerie, unforgettable novel with more readers.”
Praise for THE CHILDREN’S HOME:
‘A beautiful and uncanny novel by a writer who never ceases to surprise.’ – Jenny Offill, author of DEPT OF SPECULATION
'Charles Lambert’s muted, beautiful prose leads the reader through THE CHILDREN'S HOME on a chain of burning questions: Who? When? How? Why? More delicate than Dickens and stranger than Snicket, this is a novel of odd, canny children; life-like wax figures; a wicked mother and her disfigured boy-man of a son. Sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes heart-warming, it is a provocative tale, ripe with intrigue and atmosphere. I loved every weird moment of it.’ – Nuala O’Connor, author of MISS EMILY
‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a not-nice sort of fairy tale, where the magic doesn't sparkle prettily but boils and oozes, where the Prince has a face of tatters, where the children take grown-up revenge on their monsters. It's also, somehow, a searching, empathetic narrative about forgiveness.’ – Owen King, author of DOUBLE FEATURE: A Novel
About the author:
Born in England, Charles lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of the novels LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the short story collection THE SCENT OF CINNAMON (Salt). His work is included in THE BEST OF BRITISH SHORT STORIES 2013 (Salt) and he has won an O. Henry Award and other short story prizes. THE VIEW FROM THE TOWER was published in 2014 by Exhibit A.
About Aardvark Bureau:
Aardvark Bureau is an imprint of Belgravia. Its mission is to publish innovative and unusual writing from around the world, in both fiction and non-fiction.