Faber has won a six-way auction for the debut novel by Rebecca Watson, titled little scratch. Emmie Francis, Editor, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights to two books from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. Rights have sold to Doubleday US and Nijgh en van Ditmar in Holland.
little scratch tells the story of a day in the life of an unnamed woman, living in a lower-case world of demarcated fridge shelves and office politics; clock-watching and WhatsApp notifications. In a voice that is fiercely wry, touchingly delicate and increasingly neurotic, the protagonist relays what it takes to get through the quotidian detail of that single trajectory – from morning to night – while processing recent sexual violence.
little scratch is about the coexistence of monotony with our waking, intelligent lives. It is a powerful evocation of how the external and internal aspects of our lives exist in a helix, and what it means to live out the course of a single day consumed by trauma.
Emmie Francis said: ‘This is a work that shines with the author’s uncanny ability to play with voice. For all the discomforting nature of its “plot” it is a novel perforated with irony and buoyed by a defiant literariness. little scratch makes a mark on your nerves and senses. At 23 years old, Watson is writing in a startlingly original way, in a tradition that continues to be celebrated at Faber.’
Rebecca Watson said: ‘Faber is the real dream home for little scratch, and I could not be more delighted. I’m looking forward to working with Emmie and the team, and can’t wait to see my book published in their excellent hands.’
Rebecca Watson is an editorial assistant at the Financial Times. She has been published in the Times Literary Supplement, Granta, The Telegraph, Literary Review, The Spectator and The London Magazine, among others. In 2018, she was shortlisted for The White Review Short Story Prize. A graduate of Oxford University, she was an editor at the Cherwell and was involved in leading the #NotGuilty campaign.
Faber will publish little scratch in July 2020.
Photograph: Charlie Bibby, FT