The Times fashion editor to publish first novel in May 2020
Kimberley Atkins, editorial director at Hodder, has bought Times fashion editor Harriet Walker's first two novels from Denise Cronin at Penguin Random House in the US, which had pre-empted world rights at the end of 2018 in a six-figure deal. Walker is represented by Laura Macdougall at United Agents.
Walker's first title, The New Girl, is due in May 2020. It explores themes of jealousy and female friendship as its main character goes on maternity leave from the world of fashion journalism and becomes paranoid about her replacement - it was written while Walker herself was on maternity leave. Her second novel, The Wedding Night, follows in 2021.
Atkins said: "The New Girl is an addictive read that hits that sweet spot of darker women's fiction with a compelling psychological edge. It's such a clever novel that explores the competitive nature of female friendship, our obsession with how we appear on social media and the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect - whatever the cost."
Walker said: "Kim and the team have been such cheerleaders for my characters and their enthusiasm for the book is really exciting. I'm so glad they saw something they liked in the manuscript, and look forward to working with them on the next title, too."