Doubleday pre-empts Livia Franchini debut

Rights - Fiction Tuesday, 06 November 2018

'An incredibly talented writer with sharp, insightful prose'


With a "speedy" pre-empt, Transworld commissioning editor Lizzy Goudsmit has bought Shelf Life and an untitled second novel by Livia Franchini. Transworld has world rights from Zoe Ross at United Agents.

Shelf Life (Doubleday, August 2019) is "the exquisite, heart-wrenching story of a woman rebuilding herself on her own terms". It stars Ruth, a care home nurse whose fiance has just broken off their engagement, and who tells her story through the only shared item she has left: the couple's weekly shopping list.

Goudsmit said: "I knew from the very first page that there was something incredibly special about Shelf Life. Ruth is in many ways a familiar character - a young woman struggling to feel at home in the world - and yet her perspective is fresh and original. Livia is an incredibly talented writer with sharp, insightful prose and a real intensity, and I am so excited to be publishing her debut."

Franchini is a writer and translator from Tuscany. She has been published in the Quietus, 3:AM and the White Review, among others. She is an inaugural writer-in-residence of the Connecting Emerging Literary Artists project, and has performed her work at venues including the Faber Social, Standon Calling, Lowlands and Hay Festival. She is completing a PhD in experimental women’s writing at Goldsmiths University.

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