W&N acquires ‘glowing-hot’ debut THIS HAPPY by Niamh Campbell

This HappyLettice Franklin, Editorial Director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, has acquired World rights in THIS HAPPY by Niamh Campbell, at auction, in a two-book deal from Matthew Turner at RCW.

THIS HAPPY introduces us to Alannah. When she was twenty-three, Alannah met a man who was older than her – a married man – and fell in love. Soon after meeting, the couple spend three intense summer weeks in rural Ireland, overseen by the cottage’s landlady. Six years later, when Alannah is newly married to another man, she sees the landlady from afar. Memories of those days spent in bliss, then torture, return to her. Along with the realisation that she has been waiting – all this time – to be rediscovered.

Lettice Franklin, editor said: ‘Niamh Campbell writes prose of exceptional literary quality – heady, rhythmic, witty and unique. Her debut, THIS HAPPY, is a fervid, glowing-hot novel about relationships and about how certain brief periods of our lives come to define us. It will be loved by readers of Eimear McBride, Ali Smith or Claire Louise Bennett and I cannot wait to publish it.’

Niamh Campbell, author said: ‘THIS HAPPY started out as a series of monologue defending the entertainingly irresponsible, if not deranged, decisions love compels us to make, when we fall into it; its evolution into a novel meant examining these reflectively, and rigorously, but deciding to celebrate them anyway. I enjoyed giving voice to an especially unrepentant and colourful female narrator, writing at a time of often vertiginous changes in the way Irish women are allowed to live their lives, without constructing a role model or an example: Alannah is not a victim, but a girl who brings most of her troubles onto herself, and is happy enough with that. Working with Lettice has given this story a shape and poetic coherence that also introduced me to the weird joy of having readers, and excellent readers at that. I am excited about gaining many more.’

Niamh Campbell was born in 1988 and grew up in Dublin. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in THE DUBLIN REVIEW, 3:AM, BANSHEE, GORSE, FIVE DIALS, and TANGERINE. She was awarded a Next Generation literary bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland, and annual literary bursaries in 2018 and 2019. She holds a PhD in English from King’s College London and is a current postdoctoral fellow for the Arts Council of Ireland at Maynooth University. She lives and works in Dublin.

W&N will publish THIS HAPPY as a hardback, trade paperback, ebook and audio in Summer 2020.