Helen Garnons-Williams at 4th Estate has acquired THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY by acclaimed novelist Gregory Norminton, from Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann. 4th Estate will publish in Spring 2018, and have acquired British Commonwealth rights excluding Canada.
Set on and around the Devil’s Highway – a Roman road that crosses north Surrey and Hampshire – it is a vivid and deftly constructed novel spanning three thousand years and charting the ways in which one place can become many places over time. An ancient British boy, discovering a terrorist plot, must betray his brother to save his tribe. In the twenty-first century, two people – one traumatised by war, another by divorce – clash over the meaning of a landscape. Centuries in the future, with England now a burning desert, a gang of feral children struggles to reach safety in a broken land.
Helen Garnons-Williams says, ‘I acquired Gregory’s first novel, THE SHIP OF FOOLS, for Sceptre 15 years ago, when I was struck by the breadth of his imagination and the freshness of his voice. In the intervening years my admiration for his writing has only grown. We are all thrilled to welcome him to 4th Estate and to be publishing this extraordinarily original, affecting and urgent new novel.’
Gregory Norminton says, ‘I am very excited to be joining 4th Estate, especially with a novel that, for all its scope, is my most personal yet. In THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY I have returned to the landscape of my youth – I have come home, so to speak, as I have come home, in another sense, to Helen Garnons-Williams, my first editor.’
‘It’s not just the pleasure of this particular author-publisher reunion that gladdens the heart,’ says Isobel Dixon. ‘I know that many will rejoice at Gregory Norminton’s return with this striking new novel. With all its brio and brilliance, its vision and fierceness, THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY maps an unforgettable journey for character and reader, changing the way you see the world.’
Praise for Gregory Norminton:
‘Norminton’s measured, elegant prose makes beauty and menace sing in perfect harmony … his scaling of the treacherous cliffs of the human heart will take your breath away.’ - Neel Mukherjee, Sunday Telegraph
‘Anything by Gregory Norminton is a pleasure to read.’ - Time Out
‘Norminton is a fine writer, his imagery is often striking, his turn of phrase can be wonderful.’ - John Mackenna, Irish Times
‘Whatever Gregory Norminton turns to next will be worth waiting for.’ - Alastair Mabbott, The Herald
Gregory Norminton trained as an actor, and is the author of four widely-praised novels. His short stories have been published in many journals and anthologies and Comma Press will publish his second collection The Ghost Who Bled in 2017. He teaches Creative Writing and English at Manchester Metropolitan University.