We are thrilled to announce that Doubleday has pre-empted two new novels from Nick Newman, the adult pen-name of Costa-shortlisted children’s author and bookseller Nicholas Bowling. The Garden is a hauntingly beautiful novel with a speculative twist for fans of Claire Fuller’s Unsettled Ground, Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi and the novels of Margaret Atwood.
Publisher Kirsty Dunseath acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Olivia Maidment. Doubleday will publish The Garden as a major lead title early in 2025, with another novel scheduled for 2027.
Two elderly sisters tend a large walled garden, planting and reaping crops according to the plans left to them in an almanac written by their mother. They are entirely self-sufficient; they believe that the outside world is a wilderness and that they will only survive if they remain in the garden and live as their mother dictated.
They inhabit one part of a large house, the doors to the upper levels sealed off – the secrets of their past locked behind them. And they dare not look beyond the walls of the garden for fear of what lurks outside.
But then the arrival of a young boy unsettles their careful routines and makes them begin to question the existence they have so carefully forged and the truths that have been laid out for them…
Dunseath said of the acquisition: “I am so excited to be publishing Nick as he embarks on this new direction in his career. There is such a mesmeric, dreamlike quality to his prose and the world he conjures is so richly imagined yet it also explores very current, and very urgent themes. Nick is full of creative, imaginative ideas, which is just the sort of writer I love working with!”
Newman commented: “Joining the team at Doubleday is a bona fide dream come true. I’ve always loved the originality and imagination of their titles, and I can’t imagine a more perfect home for The Garden. I’m still in disbelief that I get to work with Kirsty – surely one of the most experienced and visionary editors out there – and I am forever thankful to my agent, Olivia Maidment, for getting me here in the first place and for truly understanding the bones of this book right from the beginning.”
Maidment added: “I’m so excited for Nick and the unforgettable novel that he has crafted with The Garden. Nick’s talent for worldbuilding and storytelling is really something to behold, and I am so proud that he has found his perfect home with Kirsty and Doubleday.”
Newman has published several children’s novels, including Witchborn and In the Shadow of Heroes (both Chicken House), under the name Nicholas Bowling. He has previously worked as a teacher, musician, and a stand-up comedian and is currently working as a bookseller at Daunt in London.