News & Events > Aardvark Bureau Acquires Debut Novel Inspired by Little-Known Cézanne Painting
Aardvark Bureau Acquires Debut Novel Inspired by Little-Known Cézanne Painting
Gallic Books imprint Aardvark Bureau has acquired UK, Europe and Commonwealth (ex Can) rights in Michael Langan’s first novel Shadow is a Colour from Laura Macdougall at United Agents.
The inspiration for Michael Langan’s debut novel is a painting: The Murder by Paul Cézanne, produced during the little-known dark period at the start of the artist’s career.
Langan’s ambitious story travels from Liverpool – Michael Langan’s own home city, where the painting The Murder is housed in the Walker Gallery – to New York, to Hong Kong, to France, and shifts back and forth in time from the nineteenth century to the present day.
Cézanne – his friendship and falling out with Emile Zola, and the lasting impact of his work on a range of troubled characters – businessmen, artists, writers, filmmakers, actors – is at the core of this novel about life and art, relationships, family, sexuality and the shadows of the past.
Jane Aitken, MD of Gallic Books, said: ‘The appeal of Michael Langan’s brilliant first novel lies in his sensitive exploration of masculinity and what it means to be a man today – and the skill with which these themes, and the paintings of Cézanne, are woven through a fast-paced and fascinating story.’
Laura Macdougall said: ‘I’m thrilled that Michael and his debut novel will be published on Gallic Books’ exciting, international list. It’s the perfect home for a novel which takes its inspiration from a French artist.’
Michael Langan said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that my debut novel will be published by Aardvark Bureau, who have such a diverse and interesting publishing record as well as a refreshingly global outlook on literature. Joining their list is a truly exciting prospect for me and it’s a real thrill to know that my first book is in great hands.’
Michael Langan has a PhD in Creative Writing and is a former university lecturer. Born and raised just outside Liverpool, Michael now lives with his husband, an artist, in Lisbon. He’s currently working on his second novel.