Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

New Craig novel ‘Wall’ sells to US

Martin Shaw at Shaw Literary has sold US rights to Sydney author Jen Craig’s third novel Wall to Zerogram Press.

The narrator of Wall is a London-based Australian visual artist (with ‘a diet company name’) who finds herself tasked with clearing out the teeming contents of her father’s deceased estate in Chatswood, Sydney. Just before leaving London to do so, the narrator’s slow-moving plans to develop a large-scale work on the subject of surviving anorexia are sent off course after she runs into an important mentor from her past.

Flustered by their apparent scrutiny of where she has got to in her life, and anxious to avoid too many questions about her long-anticipated project, the narrator finds herself telling them that she plans to exhibit the contents of the Chatswood house in a substantial installation that might rival—even as it is obviously indebted to—a major work by the internationally famous Chinese artist Song Dong. Once the narrator arrives in Australia, however, she is soon confronted by everything she had left behind when she flew out of the country decades earlier.

In 2020 Zerogram acquired Craig’s second novel, the 2016 Stella Prize-longlisted Panthers and the Museum of Fire (Spineless Wonders).

Shaw said of Craig’s new novel: ‘One early reader told me they considered this work perhaps even superior to Craig’s lauded Panthers—so utterly meticulous is it in construction and language, and that the two works reinforce one another in a sort of feedback loop. I’m so excited that Jen’s growing legion of fans internationally will have a new work to savour.’

In terms of Australian publication, Shaw told Books+Publishing that he is ‘keen to find a local home for Craig’s work’ (her first novel Since the Accident was published by Ginninderra Press in 2009) and that ‘conversations were underway’.

Zerogram will publish Wall in the northern hemisphere spring of 2023.


Category: Local news Rights and acquisitions