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Literary Fiction

Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic

The timely debut that everyone is talking about (selected as one of the debuts of the year by Observer and Elle UK) from one of the most exciting young British novelists - an achingly contemporary tale of Instagram obsession.

'The best fictional account I've read of the way the internet has shaped our inner lives. A literary thriller that confirms the arrival of a major new talent.' ­ Alex Preston, Observer

Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic
One – Pushkin Press
| 26 April 2018 | Paperback £8.99

Sympathy FINAL pb cover.jpg

Called the first great Instagram novel, Sympathy is an electrifying story of blood ties, online identities, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.

At twenty-three, Alice Hare arrives in New York looking for a place to call home.  Instead she finds Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer, who she begins to follow online, fixated from afar and increasingly convinced this stranger’s life holds a mirror to her own.  But as Alice closes in on her “internet twin”, fictional and real lives begin to blur, leaving a tangle of lies, blood ties and sexual encounters that cannot be erased.

Discussion points / feature ideas:

  • The role of stories in an online world
  • Writing reality when so much of the world is virtual reality
  • Unique pressures faced by the millennial generation
  • Addiction to social media 
  • Self-obsession / narcissism 
  • Real intimacy in a world of curated lifestyles
  • Dangers of lifestyle curation / taking the curator away from reality
  • Breaking up in a digital world
  • Digital power dynamics
  • Power of Instagram at the expense of experiences
  • Travel – travelling and living alone in foreign cities (including New York / Japan / Brussels)
  • Is design and style becoming more important in a social media age, and does this have an impact on the written word?

About Olivia Sudjic

Olivia Sudjic was born in London in 1988. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University where she was awarded the E.G. Harwood English Prize and made a Bateman Scholar.  She is available for interview, features and events.

Join the conversation: #Sympathy / @babynovelist

Selected praise for Sympathy

  • ‘Imagine Alice Through the Looking Glass for the Instagram generation and you’ll get a sense of Sympathy’ Observer, ‘New Faces of Fiction’
  • 'A stalker's story shows how the web has shaped a generation... This impressive novel is alive with clever ideas' ­ The Times
  • 'Engrossing... an intelligent and absorbing literary thriller that promises much for the future' ­
  • Financial Times
  • 'Inventive and highly charged... a compelling mystery tale' ­ Daily Telegraph
  • 'A shrewd examination of how love stories are transformed by the distorting filter of the internet... super-smart... intriguing' ­ Daily Mail
  • ‘Reads like The Talented Mr Ripley for the 21st Century’ Vice UK
  • ‘a seductive, deeply compelling novel about intimacy and obsession in the age of Instagram... One of the most accomplished debuts I’ve read this year!’ Emerald Street
  • 'A smart story of obsession and technology... exquisite... an astute, quirky, slow­burning satire on emerging codes of behaviour, intergenerational differences, globalisation, the tech industry and the vortex of the dark web' ­ Guardian
  • ‘A gripping odyssey into one woman’s online-addled inner life.’ Independent
  • ‘[an] exceptional debut.’ Literary Review
  • ‘Sympathy captures the exquisite agony of life online’ AnOther Magazine
  • 'Filled with explosive intelligence and dark humour, Sympathy is both beautiful and raw' Elle
  • ‘Smart, funny and provoking…every bit as addictive as your ex’s Instagram account.’ Refinery29


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse

Outlandishly clever, ingenious . . . There’s no question that David Whitehouse is a writer to watch.
— Janet Maslin, New York Times

Picador / hardback - £14.99 / fiction / 22 March ‘18 / Ebook - £12.99

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‘Dove is walking to work along the canal when he remembers the bog violet. It just appears, however memories do, a glimmer of the past shining through the now…Dove knows nothing of flowers. And there are few of his age (if his age is thirty, which he thinks it is) who know what he now knows of the bog violet; that’s how vivid his memory is…The memory is as lucid as his reflection, stilling on the black glass of the canal. But where has he seen it before, and why is he recalling it now?’

When the black box flight recorder of a plane that went missing 30 years ago is found at the bottom of the sea, a young man named Dove begins to remember a past that isn't his. The memories belong to a rare flower hunter in 1980s New York, whose search led him around the world and ended in tragedy.

Restless and lonely in present-day London, Dove is quickly consumed by the memories, which might just hold the key to the mystery of his own identity and what happened to the passengers on that doomed flight, The Long Forgotten…

‘A great read and a touching and funny exploration of the true meaning of family’ - S J Watson, author of Before I Go To Sleep, on Mobile Library

‘A great, tender-hearted story about stories. It’s a book about what books can give us, and how they can add to our adventure – or even take us on one. A lovely read’ - Matt Haig, author of The Humans, on Mobile Library

About David Whitehouse

David Whitehouse is an award-winning novelist, journalist and screenwriter. His first novel, Bed, won the 2012 Betty Trask Award and his second novel, Mobile Library, won the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Originally from Warwickshire, he now lives in Margate with his family.

More information

For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook

Hurtling across 1980s America, this wildly original story is full of characters you’ll never forget...The Killing of Butterfly Joe is the dazzling new novel from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Aftermath (soon to be a major movie). 

The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook
Picador / hardback & Ebook / fiction / 8 March 2018 / £14.99

The Killing of Butterfly Joe

‘I killed Joe once, in a manner of speaking. But not twice. Not in the way you mean.’

Young Welshman, Llew Jones, wants to see America, have an experience and write about it. After an encounter with the charismatic, illusive, infuriating ‘Butterfly Joe’ and his freakish family, he gets his wish. He’s soon hurtling across 1980’s America, having an adventure whilst hoping to pull-off a life-changing deal. But it’s a road that leads to trouble and sees Llew thrown in jail. Now he has to give his side of the story if he’s ever going to get free.

Part neo-gothic thriller, part existential road trip, part morality tale, The Killing of Butterfly Joe is a wildly original story full of characters you’ll never forget. An epic tale of friendship, desire and the search for freedom and self-definition. It’s about participating in the Great American Dream – ‘the one that takes you from rags to riches via pitches’ – whatever the consequences. 

About the author

Rhidian Brook is an award-winning writer of fiction, television drama and film. His first novel, The Testimony of Taliesin Jones, won several prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including the Paris Review and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He is also a regular contributor to 'Thought For The Day'. His 2013 novel, The Aftermath, was translated into more than twenty languages and has been made into a movie, staring Keira Knightley, that is set for release in 2018. He once had a job selling butterflies in glass cases.

@RhidianBrook #TheKillingofButterflyJoe

‘Superb…. masterly.’ - Mail on Sunday, on The Aftermarth

‘Profoundly moving, beautifully written.’ – Independent, on The Aftermath

‘Superb.’ – Guardian, on The Aftermath

‘Terrific. … Richly atmospheric.’ - Sunday Telegraph, on The Aftermath

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For more information about this book, please contact me.

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter
Published in paperback by Lake Union (an imprint of Amazon Publishing) | 8 February 2018 | £4.99 / audio book - £13.38


Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.

At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim. Working through the great house’s archives, Stella soon finds herself drawn in by a cache of increasingly erratic letters from a young Victorian woman about her husband, Dr James Lockhart, a man whose single-minded ambition has strange parallels with Jamie’s.

Just as Stella begins developing feelings for Jamie, she discovers that the connection between the Lockharts and the Munros could have sinister repercussions for them both. She’s finally found the life she wants to live - but is it all an illusion?

About Sarah Painter

Sarah Painter writes novels which sometimes have historical elements or touches of magic, but always have an emotional core. Her debut novel, The Language of Spells, became a Kindle bestseller and was followed by a sequel, The Secrets of Ghosts. Her last book, In the Light of What We See, was also a bestseller and a Kindle First pick. 

Sarah hosts a podcast about writing (and interviews other authors and creative-types) at She lives in rural Scotland with her children, husband, and a grey tabby called Zelda Kitzgerald. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from St Andrews, drinks too much tea, loves the work of Joss Whedon, and is the proud owner of a writing shed. / @SarahRPainter / #BeneaththeWater

Talking points:

  • Anxiety and self-doubt – how Sarah overcame anxiety and self-doubt to pursue her ambitions
  • Psychological impact of childhood heart surgery - and the decision to marry and have children early as a result
  • Helping other writers through the 'Worried Writer' podcast, book, and website to overcome fear, self-doubt and procrastination
  • James Young Simpson - the amazing 19th century Scottish obstetrician, who has captivated Sarah's imagination


For more information on this book, please contact me.