PRH acquires Next Chapter fellow Cehic’s short story collection
Penguin Random House Australia (PRH) has acquired world rights to Sadvertising, the debut short story collection by Next Chapter fellow Ennis Cehic.
According to the author, the satirical stories in Sadvertising ‘are very much about the world of advertising, consumerism and technology—with each story playfully and sometimes tragically taken to its most absurd conclusion’.
‘As a refugee from Bosnia, who found himself working in advertising—I couldn’t help but see the inherent absurdism of the whole industry,’ said Cehic. ‘Advertising is a such victim of its own arrogance. This is why I began to write and dream up these fleshed-out contemporary fables that I knew anyone who’s felt the existential dread of office life would relate to.’
In 2018 Cehic was one of the 10 inaugural recipients of the Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter fellowships. He is the third writer from that cohort, after Adam Thompson and Evelyn Araluen, to receive a publishing deal from a major Australian publisher.
PRH publishing director Justin Ractliffe discovered Cehic through the Next Chapter scheme after former Wheeler Centre director Michael Williams shared a sample of Cehic’s work with several publishers. According to Ractliffe, ‘I loved what I read and immediately wrote to Michael to express my admiration for the work and request more material when it was available.’
Ractliffe told Books+Publishing, ‘Sadvertising is a brilliantly absurd and fantastical collection of contemporary satirical fables. It’s absolutely boxfresh and shot through with pitch black humour, existential dread and late capitalist yearning for meaning. Ennis brings a real sense of what it feels like to be marginalised, dispossessed, caught between two cultures to his work, and that lived experience—combined with his playful, ironic gaze—makes for compelling reading. He is a young writer with a huge future ahead of him and I’m just happy I get to go along for the ride.’
Sadvertising will be published under the Vintage imprint in March 2022.