Yiyun Li returns to the Fourth Estate with a “spellbinding” new novel following an exclusive submission.
Kishani Widyaratna, Editorial Director, has acquired UK and Commonwealth volume rights, including audio, from Wylie Agency’s Sarah Chalfant for The goose book and a collection of stories. The North American rights were acquired in a two-book deal by Mitzi Angel at FSG. The goose book will publish simultaneously in the UK and US in hardcover in September 2022 and has been named the “publisher’s standout literary publication for the fall”.
The novel follows “the girl’s friendship and obsession” as it meanders from the rural provinces of post-war France to Paris, from an English boarding school to the peaceful Pennsylvania home where a woman can live without her son. past.
It opens with the news that Fabienne is dead. Her childhood best friend, Agnès, hears the news in America, far from the French countryside where the two girls were raised – where Fabienne scared Agnès off 10 years ago. From now on, Agnès is free to tell her story. As children in a remote town, they had built a private world, invisible to everyone but themselves – until Fabienne hatched the plan that would change everything, launching Agnès on “a rising trajectory through glory, fortune and a terrible loss”.
Li’s previous three novels were published by Hamish Hamilton in the UK. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Sunday Times News Award, The Guardian First Book Prize, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship and a Windham-Campbell Prize.
Widyaratna said, “Yiyun Li is one of our most important writers, cherished by readers for her remarkable novels, outstanding short stories, and essential non-fiction. It is a great joy for all of us at Fourth Estate to have it back on the list where it was first released in the UK. The goose book is an endlessly compelling, provocative, and beautiful novel that deeply addresses issues of freedom and agency. We look forward to readers meeting Agnès and Fabienne.
Li added, “I am delighted to return to the Fourth Estate, where I started as a new writer. For two years of the pandemic, Agnès and Fabienne have been my strange companions, who delight, surprise, upset, and ultimately haunt me. I look forward to working with the team to release The goose book.”