Aardvark Bureau Acquires Australian Debut Novel Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and Walter Scott Prizes
Aardvark Bureau, the world fiction imprint of the Belgravia Books Collective, has acquired WEL (ex ANZ) rights from The Sayle Literary Agency in association with The Naher Agency in Salt Creek, the acclaimed debut novel of Australian author Lucy Treloar.
The events of the story take place in 1855 in the settlement of Salt Creek at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester, who narrates the story from her home in Chichester, England, twenty years on.
Isolated from polite Adelaide society, the Finches form connections with passing travellers and with the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed, in particular young Aboriginal boy Tully, who becomes almost another son to Stanton Finch. But events and prejudices will test the strength of these bonds, and Hester will struggle to reconcile her desire for freedom with an abiding sense of duty to her family.
Aardvark Bureau says: ‘We first heard about Salt Creek on Twitter via book blogger Claire McAlpine who, along with several other bloggers, was surprised that the novel hadn’t yet been picked up by a UK publisher. After all, the story may take place in another century on the other side of the world, but its themes – colonialism, duty, family, love, and social expectations on women – and the sometimes painful experiences of its characters resonate powerfully in the here and now. Our interest was piqued – and we can’t deny we were also attracted by Sandy Cull’s gorgeous cover, which we’ll be using as the basis for our edition. Reading Salt Creek and discovering Lucy Treloar’s evocative prose for ourselves, we soon understood why readers felt so evangelical about the book.’
Salt Creek will be published by Aardvark Bureau in paperback original and eBook in autumn 2017.