Aardvark Bureau signs two-book deal with prize-winning South African author Henrietta Rose-Innes

Aardvark Bureau has acquired UK and BC rights (ex Canada and Southern Africa) to the novels NINEVEH and GREEN LION by acclaimed South African author Henrietta Rose-Innes. The deal was brokered by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann.

NINEVEH was shortlisted for South Africa’s most prestigious literary award, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, in 2012. GREEN LION is currently a finalist for the same award, with the winner due to be announced this weekend.

Both novels convey a strong sense of the Cape Town where Rose-Innes grew up, with Table Mountain looming physically and symbolically large. They explore the tensions between the natural and man-made worlds, and the ways in which we perceive the animal kingdom – beguiling, semi-mystical, endangered and dangerous, familiar and unknowable.

NINEVEH, to be published simultaneously in November 2016 by Aardvark Bureau in the UK and BC and by Unnamed Press in the USA, tells the story of Katya Grubbs, Cape Town’s only ethical pest removal specialist. When called to tackle a mysterious infestation at a new luxury housing development on the fringes of the city, Katya finds herself having to deal with unwelcome intrusions from the past.

In GREEN LION (autumn 2017), Con steps in as the keeper of Sekhmet, the world’s last remaining black-maned lioness, when his school friend is mauled at a breeding zoo. Drawn to the powerful creature, he finds himself testing the boundaries that separate the animal and human worlds, and reliving dark moments of his own history.

Jane Aitken says: In these two masterful novels, Henrietta Rose-Innes’s beautiful prose intrigues, entrances and entertains. We are thrilled to bring Rose-Innes to the UK market.

Henrietta Rose-Innes says: I'm tremendously excited to introduce my books to readers in the UK and elsewhere – and I can't think of a better home for them than Aardvark Bureau, with its fresh and adventurous list of global titles.

Praise for Henrietta Rose-Innes:

‘Henrietta Rose-Innes writes an admirably taut, clean prose. … A welcome addition to the new South African literature.’ – J M Coetzee

‘GREEN LION sees humanity’s longing for the wildness of animals as a desire for what remains most alien in our rational selves ... Poignant and unsentimental, this is an urgent story of quiet, lurking terror.' – Patrick Flanery, author of Absolution

‘A gripping, thrilling allegory of a troubled nation, NINEVEH is executed with wit, panache, precision and something that I can only call wounded love for the country the author calls her home.’ – Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others

‘Rose-Innes’s writing is as entertaining as it is subtle – a rare combination.’ – Steven Amsterdam, author of Things We Didn’t See Coming

‘Henrietta Rose-Innes is a master of the beautifully thought-out metaphor. Her prose is elegant and liquid.’ – Cape Times

‘Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.’ – SA Sunday Times

‘With its crisp style, infused with caustic humour, NINEVEH places Henrietta Rose-Innes without contest among the most important voices of the new South African literature.’ – Le Monde

‘A compellingly enigmatic story, [2008 Caine Prize winner] POISON’s few pages are also an eloquent vignette of the “new” South Africa.’ – The Guardian

About the author:

Henrietta Rose-Innes is a novelist and short story writer from Cape Town, currently living in the UK while completing a PhD at the University of East Anglia. She won the Caine Prize for African Writing 2008 and the HSBC / PEN Short Story Prize 2007 and was runner-up in the BBC Short Story Award 2012. Her work is included in the Granta Book of the African Short Story (2011) and has been published in a number of languages, including French, Spanish and German.

For press enquiries and interview requests, please contact Sophie Goodfellow or Emma Draude: sophie@edpr.co.uk / emma@edpr.co.uk

For rights enquiries, please contact Isobel Dixon: isobel@blakefriedmann.co.uk