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This is Keegan’s first novel to be published in North America and her highly anticipated first book since the critical smash hit collections Antarctica and Walk the Blue Fields.
Keegan is one of the most highly respected literary short story writers in the world. Her timeless work has been lauded by Colm Toibin, Hilary Mantel, Anne Enright, and Richard Ford, among numerous others, and her writing has been compared with Anton Checkov’s, Annie Proulx’s,John Cheever’s, Seamus Heaney’s, and William Trevor’s. She has been published in the New Yorker, Granta, Paris Review, and Best American Stories.
Like Jeanette Winterson, Truman Capote, and James Joyce’s “The Dead”, Keegan has created a unique yet perennial Christmas tale. Small Things was an instant bestseller in France when it was published in December 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. As with her previous books, it is likely to ignite critical reception here; and to be hailed as a major literary event on both sides of the pond. We will publish on December 1st in a beautiful small format hardcover, in time for the Holiday Season. Faber & Faber UK will publish end of October.
Won in a very competitive situation, Small Things will be the first of three books that we will publish by Keegan, in whom we have a continued and significant investment. This includes Foster, originally published in the New Yorker and distributed in North America by Faber, which Grove will reissue in the coming years. Forsterwon The Davy Byrnes Award, and was recently named one of The Times UK’s top 50 novels published in the 21st Century. It has sold over 120,000 copies in the UK and Ireland. Hilary Mantel says “Foster confirms Claire Keegan's talent. She creates luminous effects with spare material, so every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.”
Grove published Keegan’s debut collection, Antarctica, in 2001 to great acclaim. It was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and recipient of the prestigious Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the William Trevor Prize (awarded by Trevor), and the Martin Healy Award. It received rave reviews in Esquire, the Boston Globe, the NYTBR and the LA Times (“Reading these stories is like coming upon work of Ann Beattie or Raymond Carver at the start of their careers.") Her second collection, 2007’s Walk the Blue Fields, was published in Black Cat to a huge critical reception (see quotes in full below) and went on to win The Edge Hill Prize for the strongest collection published in The British Isles.