The snake’s tail leapt out The War for Gloriathe “exquisite” work of literary fiction by award-winning novelist and former U.S. Marine Atticus Lish.
Editor Luke Brown has bought the UK and Commonwealth rights to Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown and US agent Amanda Urban at ICM Partners. Serpent’s Tail will release the novel in hardback, e-book, and paperback for export trade on May 26, 2022.
Lish described the novel in the Paris review as “autobiographical, albeit in disguise”. It follows Corey Goltz, a teenager growing up in working-class Boston and the only child of Gloria, whose ambitions were derailed early on but who always gave her son everything she could. A restless Corey dreams of leaving home for a big adventure.
“Instead, when he was 15, the world collapsed on him, when Gloria was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and, too late, her estranged father, Leonard – a man of great charisma but questionable moral character – re-enters the picture,” the synopsis explains. “Determined to be his mother’s hero at all costs, Corey begins to take responsibility for her expensive medical care, pushing her physical and emotional limits as her illness cruelly progresses. And as Leonard’s influence on Corey grows up, Corey must dismantle the myth of his my father’s genius and confront the evil that lurks beneath.”
The editor said: “Gritty, visceral and deeply moving, The War for Gloria tells the story of a young man, straddling childhood and adulthood, whose desire to protect his mother forces him to risk destroying his father. An indelible work of astonishingly original voice in American fiction.”
Lish’s first novel, Preparation for the next life (Oneworld), won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the New York City Book Award and the Grand Prize for American Literature. The War for Gloriahis second novel, is inspired by the author’s own experience caring for his mother when she was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive disease of the nervous system that causes loss of muscle control, when he was 15 years old.
Brown said: “It is exquisite, propulsive and heartbreaking American literary fiction about a boy’s relationship with his dying mother and embittered father. It is about the pain of love and the difficulty of finding a different shape for our life than the one we inherited from our parents. [This] confirms Atticus Lish as one of the greatest novelists in the English language.”