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Edward Carey’s novel LITTLE, published by Gallic Books in October 2018, has been shortlisted for the American Library in Paris 2019 Book Award. The award, now in its seventh year, recognises the most distinguished books of the year, in English, about France. In this cycle, eighty-two titles were submitted by authors, publishers, and others for consideration. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 7 November 2019 at the George C. Marshall Centre on Place de la Concorde in Paris. See more on the award here.

From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, LITTLE is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world.

Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employment in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling. 

Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protégée head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike. At 'The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius', heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax.

LITTLE has also been shortlisted for the 2019 Chautauqua Prize and the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Award for Best Independent Voice 2019, with the winner to be announced at the Capital Crime Festival in September. Carey’s novel was also longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown 2019.

Born in England, Edward Carey is a novelist, visual artist and playwright who teaches Creative Writing at the University of Austin, Texas. He was awarded the prestigious Italian Fernanda Pivano Prize in 2016. His novel LITTLE has been internationally acclaimed, with film rights optioned and rights sold in 16 countries. Picador will be re-issuing his classic early novels OBSERVATORY MANSIONS and ALVA & IRVA in the UK.

Visit Edward Carey's Website here.

Follow Edward on Twitter here. 

Praise for Edward Carey

‘If this were music, Carey would be Eric Satie. If it were film, he would be Tim Burton.’ - Newsday

‘Edward Carey is an enormously talented writer…’ — Publishers Weekly

‘Edward Carey is one of the strangest writers we are privileged to have in this country. There are echoes in his work of other great idiosyncratics from Angela Carter to Russell Hoban, but he supersedes even them in the downright oddity of his mind.’ — Observer

Praise for LITTLE

‘Don’t miss this eccentric charmer’ — @MargaretAtwood

'I marvel at the achievement of this book... I loved this book best when it showed me, with its stylised dialogue, its garrotting commas, its punctuating illustrations, history as an art form, history as an argument... LITTLE isn't about history... it's about humans, and bodies, and art, and loneliness, and it's deeply, painfully sad. I could talk about it forever.' – NPR Books

'Told with extraordinary panache, and illustrated by Edward Carey, this tale of the founder of Madame Tussauds is a macabre joy.' — The Times, Books of the Year

'You will weep, you will applaud, you will wonder if your nerves can take it... Guts'n'gore galore: I bloody loved it... in Carey's subtle, modelling hands, Paris is gay and gloomy, debauched and deathly, fabulous and fearful. Marie is the eyes, ears and hold-your-nose of this book, a delightful guide to a mad, macabre world.' - Spectator

'A gripping novel of shy wit and darkly humorous occurrences, mesmerising in its virtuosity. On top of which the author's own illustrations are wonderfully bizarre, as indeed is the story he tells.' — William Ryan, Irish Independent (Author Top Books of 2018)





We are thrilled to announce that three Blake Friedmann authors have been shortlisted for the Capital Crime Amazon Publishing Readers Awards 2019. LITTLE by Edward Carey (Aardvark Bureau, 2018), RED SNOW by Will Dean (Point Blank, 2019) and GOOD SAMARITANS by Will Carver (Orenda Books, 2018) have all been shortlisted for the Independent Voice award.

Capital Crime festival pass holders will be able to vote for the winner in each category from today until 19 September 2019. Winners will be announced at the Capital Crime festival in London on 28 September 2019.


The first book in Will Dean’s Tuva Moodysoon series, DARK PINES, was selected for the Zoe Ball Book Club and shortlisted for The Guardian Not The Booker Prize.

Praise for RED SNOW:

'A complex plot, suffused with the nightmarish quality of Twin Peaks, and a tough-minded, resourceful protagonist add up to a stand-out read.' — The Guardian

‘Dean masterfully ramps up the tension and claustrophobia throughout the story’s sinister series of events before delivering an unexpected and satisfying finale. Tuva is a wonderful creation and Dean’s series is not to be missed.’ — Daily Express

‘It's great. You get snow, ice, Swedishness, murder and liquorice!’ – Marian Keyes

Follow Will Dean on Twitter.


was selected as a Book of the Year in The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Daily Express.


‘An unsettling but compelling mixture of the banal, the horrific and, at times, the near-comic, wrong-footing the reader at every turn.’ — The Guardian, The Best Recent Crime Novels

‘I read a lot of novels about homicidal mania and this one made most of the others seem as reassuringly cosy as my favourite slippers. A bleak vision of life - true enough to impart the reader with the thrill of genuine discomfort presented with the chilly conviction of Simenon’s most unflinching romans durs and just as horribly addictive.' — The Telegraph

‘If you like you comedy pitch black and your thrillers more than a little bit twisted, you’ll love it… So dark, so cool.’ — Heat

Follow Will Carver on Twitter

LITTLE by Edward Carey - PB cover.jpg

Edward Carey’s LITTLE
was longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019, the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019, and the HWA Historia Gold Crown 2019. It was also chosen as a Times Historical Book of the Month and a Waterstones Booksellers Favourite.

Praise for LITTLE:

‘Carey, an artist and playwright who has worked at Madame Tussauds in London, has turned his experience into a startlingly original novel. He finds and treasures the ironies and macabre eccentricities of Tussaud’s world. The pages are also enriched by his beautiful and haunting illustrations of body parts and anatomical models’ – The Times

‘Edward Carey’s Gothic tale is a wry meditation on a state between life and death . . . A rattling narrative is fleshed out with visceral detail and illustrations by the author . . . it is both clever and intriguing’ — Daily Mail

‘Don’t miss this eccentric charmer’ — Margaret Atwood

Visit Edward Carey's Website here

Follow Edward on Twitter here





A hat-trick of longlistings for Edward Carey’s LITTLE, with foreign rights sold in 11 territories!


Edward Carey’s LITTLE, published in the UK by Gallic Books and in the US and Canada by Riverhead, has been longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize. The Walter Scott Prize celebrates “quality, innovation and longevity of writing in the English language, and is open to books first published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth”. The Rathbones Folio Prize is awarded to “works of literature in which the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression”, and the Ondaatje Prize is given to a book of the highest literary merit “which best evokes the spirit of a place”.

Foreign rights to LITTLE meanwhile have been sold in 11 territories so far, including the Czech Republic (Argo), France (Cherche-Midi), Germany (Beck), Holland (Ambo Anthos), Hungary (Europa), Italy (La Nave di Teseo), Japan (Sogensha), Korea (Arcade Publishing), Poland (Proszynski), Russia (Eksmo) and Turkey (Ithaki).

LITTLE is the wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud.

In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling: The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and at the wax museum, heads are what they do…

Praise for LITTLE:

‘One of the most original historical novels of the year. By turns macabre, funny, touching and oddly life-affirming, LITTLE is a remarkable achievement.’ — Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times

‘An exquisitely disturbing treasure of a novel. Sensual, unassumingly poignant, hilarious, heartbreaking, cruel, joyous: a triumph and one of the most intoxicating novels I've read.’ — Sarah Schmidt

‘A brilliant love child of the kingdom of letters.’ — Immédiatement

‘Delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising.’ — Eleanor Catton

‘Carey, an artist and playwright who has worked at Madame Tussauds in London, has turned his experience into a startlingly original novel. He finds and treasures the ironies and macabre eccentricities of Tussaud’s world. The pages are also enriched by his beautiful and haunting illustrations of body parts and anatomical models.’ – The Times

‘Edward Carey’s Gothic tale is a wry meditation on a state between life and death… A rattling narrative is fleshed out with visceral detail and illustrations by the author… It is both clever and intriguing.’ — Daily Mail

‘Don’t miss this eccentric charmer.’ — Margaret Atwood

'LITTLE is that rare thing – a unique novel with a unique and fully-realised voice, rich in deadpan wit and surgically precise observation. By turns tragic, bizarre and deeply moving LITTLE introduces readers to a heroine like no other and a book that will truly last. It is an absolute delight.' — A.L. Kennedy

‘LITTLE is an amazing achievement. Devote yourself to its first few pages and you will be sentenced to finishing it. I was thrilled not just by the story and the human grotesquerie of it, but by the narrative gallop and the prose, so often quietly startling in the application of a solitary mot juste. A compulsively readable novel, so canny and weird and surfeited with the reality of human capacity and ingenuity that I am stymied for comparison. Dickens and David Lynch? Defoe meets Margaret Atwood? Judge for yourself.’ — Gregory Maguire author of WICKED

About the Author

Novelist, artist, playwright. His debut OBSERVATORY MANSIONS (with his illustrations) was sold in 15 languages and was described by John Fowles as ‘proving the potential brilliance of the novel form’. Born in England, he teaches at the University of Austin, Texas.

Follow Edward Carey on Twitter

Visit Edward Carey's website

Blake Friedmann Authors in Best of 2018 Lists

With 2018 drawing to a close, everyone is sharing their favourite books of the year. At Blake Friedmann, we are so proud that our authors have been featured in so many of these selections. In celebration of these amazing achievements, we have compiled this summary of the lists in which our authors were included, along with the praise that accompanied their selection.



Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'Mesmerizing story…  It's impossible not to fall in love with Saba. She brings a ton of emotional texture to the story.'


SLAY IN YOUR LANE by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

Grazia, The 12 Books We Couldn’t Stop Talking About This Year

‘Guide to be­ing a black girl in mod­ern ur­ban Britain which is es­sen­tial read­ing for both the women it de­scribes and any­one who could do with a crash course in un­der­stand­ing their lives. Un­miss­able.’

The Guardian, Favourite Books of 2018

‘Never would I have thought a modern take on the British black female experience would be covered so wonderfully and with such excitement by two British black females. The range of topics were discussion worthy, and filled me for weeks with talking points … BUY A COPY FOR THE NEW YEAR AND BE SURPRISED AND EXCITED.’

Kimberley Sheehan, The Reading Agency, Books of the Year 2018

‘This book is a brilliant starting point to understand what it's like to be woman, black and a Londoner in 2018. It ultimately left me feeling hopeful about the future for women and empowered -- which has been a nice change compared to the rest of the year!’

Forbes, The Most Empowering Books by Female Authors of 2018

‘In this highly anticipated work from award-winning journalist Yomi Adegoke and her best friend, marketer Elizabeth Uviebinene SLAY IN YOUR LANE celebrates the gains that black women have already made in Britain whilst also highlighting the work that still needs to be done. It’s an encouraging and honest account of their own lives and a celebration of the achievements of some of Britain’s most successful black women that’ll leave you feeling fired up and hopeful for the future. For black women it serves as an inspiration and for other women and men a guide on how we can better support women of colour.’



Jake Kerridge, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Raven Crime Reads, Top 10 Crime Reads of the Year 2018

 ‘CITY WITHOUT STARS is an intense, emotive and completely absorbing read, suffused with a violent energy, and with an unrelenting pace to its narrative. It heightens the reader’s senses and imagination throughout, completely enveloping the reader in this corrupt and violent society, with instances of intense human frailty and moments of strength, underpinned by precise description, and flurries of dark humour. I thought it was absolutely marvellous.’

The Telegraph, 50 Best Books of 2018

‘A grim but unputdownable thriller set in Mexico, where the homicide rate is so high that a prolific serial killer goes nearly unnoticed.’

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UNCOVERED by Ian Birch

Steve Smith, Folio Magazine, The Best Books for Print Lovers 2018

‘This is the book true magazine geeks will appreciate most this holiday… a deft and deep compendium of provocations from titles large and small.’

LITTLE by Edward Carey

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The Times, Books of the Year (Historical Fiction)

'Told with extraordinary panache, and illustrated by Edward Carey, this tale of the founder of Madame Tussauds is a macabre joy.'

Sunday Times Culture Magazine, Books of the Year

'Edward Carey's LITTLE is weird, wonderful and unlike any other historical novel this year. Enriched by the author's own illustrations, this retelling of the early life of Marie Grosholtz (aka Madame Tussaud) is both macabre and moving.'

Kirkus, Best Historical Fiction

Amal El-Mohtar, NPR, Best Books of 2018

'Picking up on the same themes of bodies and objects as his Iremonger trilogy, Edward Carey's LITTLE is a tenderly macabre fictional memoir written in the voice of Anne Marie Grosholtz, the woman who would become Madame Tussaud… her life is full of deep sadness mixed with fabulous incident, and compassionate insight punctuated by the author's whimsical illustrations.'

William Ryan, Irish Independent, Authors Top Books of 2018

'A gripping novel of shy wit and darkly humorous occurrences and is mesmerising in its virtuosity. On top of which the author's own illustrations are wonderfully bizarre, as indeed is the story he tells.'



Jon Coates, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Jake Kerridge, Crime Time, Best of the Year 2018


HOLD/HOUSEGIRL by Michael Donkor

Melissa Gray, NPR, Best Books of 2018

‘I hate novels. This is a strong statement, I know – here’s why I make it before telling you about HOUSEGIRL: I hate novels because too often, I know exactly where the story is heading, where the characters are heading. I loved HOUSEGIRL because Michael Donkor's storytelling and character building were so exquisite… Two days after I finished the book, I found myself actually missing the characters. This is a rare accomplishment for a first-time author, which is why I recommend HOUSEGIRL – even though it's a novel.'

The Observer, Best Books of 2018

‘Exquisite debut’

Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'A unique take on the classic "housegirl" narrative.'


PRETEND YOU DON’T KNOW ME by Finuala Dowling

Jackie Kay, The Guardian, Best Books of 2018

‘A witty and wise collection. Her sequence about her mother’s dementia is very touching. Elsewhere, these vital works will have you crying with laughter.’



TODAY SOUTH LONDON, TOMORROW SOUTH LONDON by Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison

 Evening Standard, Best Comedy Books and DVDs of 2018


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THE CHILDREN’S HOME by Charles Lambert

New York Times, Before Watching ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ Read These 13 Haunted Books

‘”Abandoned children of varying ages begin showing up at the sprawling estate of a disfigured recluse, Morgan Fletcher,” Carmela Ciuraru wrote, calling it “one of the year’s most bizarre stories.” “Lambert’s subtle prose enhances the novel’s creepiness, as does his refusal to fully resolve or explain its many mysteries.”’


BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan

Den of Geeks, Top Books of 2018

‘I’d like to report a robbery. Under cover of darkness, writer and Guardian TV critic Lucy Mangan crept into my soul, pocketed my memories and wrote them up beautifully in the guise of her “memoir of childhood reading.”… Lucy Mangan’s funny, warm BOOKWORM is personal and universal in the way that the very best books are… [It] rekindles old obsessions and sends you in search of any stories you may have missed at the time. I loved this book so much, I ate it.’



The Times, Books of the Year 2018

'Are novellas making a comeback? If they can match the elegance of [THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK], let's hope so. THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK is a delicate story of a Dutch paining and the death of a naked woman in Cape Town. As usual, DI Benny Griessel inquires.'



One of Ireland’s best-selling books of 2018



The Spectator, Books of the Year  

‘the fascinating history of Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando, guardian of his father’s flame, courtier, bibliophile and cataloguer supreme, whose travels took him to the heart of 16th-century Europe.’

Edward Carey’s brilliant LITTLE to Riverhead in the US

North American rights to Edward Carey’s ‘wondrous pageant of a novel’ LITTLE have been acquired in a significant deal by Cal Morgan of Riverhead Books, who will publish in 2018. Aardvark Bureau, the world fiction imprint of the Belgravia Books Collective, will also publish LITTLE in the UK in Autumn 2018.

Carey’s return to writing for adults, after his acclaimed IREMONGER trilogy for younger readers (chosen by The New York Times, NPR, and Kirkus for their Best Books of the Year and now optioned for film), traces the fascinating life of a young Swiss girl, Marie Grosholtz, who would go on to become famous for her waxworks as Madame Tussaud.

Marie’s extraordinary career started in Berne, Switzerland, in the household of Dr Philippe Curtius. A physician skilled in creating anatomical wax models, it was Curtius who taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling and took her to pre-revolutionary France. During the French Revolution she was imprisoned and narrowly escaped execution – but cast the heads of many of those who were not so lucky...

Far from being a chamber of horrors, Edward Carey’s telling of Marie’s story is an affecting and exuberant tale crossing countries and covering a tumultuous period in history, told through the eyes of a cast of quirky and sympathetic characters. It is an unconventional love story, the tale of a woman’s rise to success against the odds, and a hymn to the strange beauty of the human body.

The text will be peppered with the author’s haunting illustrations.  Edward has drawn international praise both for his imaginative novels and their original imagery and his Italian publisher has had several exhibitions of his work for the illustrations from HEAP HOUSE, FOULSHAM and LUNGDON, the Iremonger trilogy.  


Cal Morgan said:

‘I’m so thrilled to be able to bring Edward Carey and LITTLE, his wondrous pageant of a novel, to Riverhead. Many of us here had followed Edward since the days of OBSERVATORY MANSIONS; others still have his illustrations for HEAP HOUSE fixed fondly to their walls. But this is the book Edward was born to write: a cavalcade of artists and eccentrics, rogues, royals, and radicals, set against the roil of the French Revolution. And at its centre, the tiny strong fierce little girl named Marie, nicknamed Little, eventually celebrated by the world as Madame Tussaud. It’s a book that brings me joy whenever I think of it – which is constantly. And I’m delighted we have a chance to bring it to American readers.’


Edward Carey said:

‘I could not be happier that the extraordinarily wise and brilliant Calvert Morgan will be the editor on LITTLE. It's taken me fifteen years to get here with this book and I can't believe how lucky I am that it has fallen into such exceptional US hands. I'm drawing furiously every day for it. Over the years I never dreamed that this might be the outcome, I'm completely overjoyed that Riverhead will publish this story about a diminutive woman who lived in a cupboard in Versailles and got to hold most of the famous heads of the French Revolution after they'd been disconnected from their bodies.’


Isobel Dixon, Edward’s agent at Blake Friedmann, said:

‘It’s a thrill to make this journey with the plucky, perspicacious Marie aka Little and her comrades, who are much loved in the agency. I’m delighted that Cal Morgan will be introducing her to North American readers, joining Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce of Aardvark Bureau in the UK. It’s an unfolding pleasure following the wonders from Edward Carey’s pen as he shares his drawings on Twitter every day, further illuminating this incredible story. So, happy meetings all round – and many more international adventures to follow!’


Alongside the IREMONGER trilogy (UK: Hot Key; US: Overlook; Canada: HarperCollins and many other markets in translation), Edward Carey is the author of two previous works of literary fiction – OBSERVATORY MANSIONS (Picador, 2000, shortlisted for the Borders Discover New Writers Award) and ALVA AND IRVA (Picador, 2003, longlisted for the IMPAC).  


Follow Edward Carey on Twitter – and see his daily illustrations for LITTLE!

Visit Edward Carey's website


Praise for Edward Carey:

‘Delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising, philosophical’ - Eleanor Catton

‘It's hard to imagine a better subject for Edward Carey's particular genius than the life of Madame Tussaud’ - Charles Lambert

‘Edward Carey is an enormously talented writer’ - Publishers Weekly

‘Edward Carey is one of the strangest writers we are privileged to have in this country’ - Observer

‘Carey writes with such persuasive authority, and we are inclined to believe him’ - New York Times Review of Books

‘If this were music, Carey would be Eric Satie. If it were film, he would be Tim Burton’ - Newsday

‘Conveyed with so much sympathy and acute observation that it is hard not to be beguiled’ - The Times