Fleet signs new novel by Colson Whitehead

Rights - Fiction Thursday, 11 October 2018

Story based on grim history of Florida reform school

Fleet (Little, Brown) has signed a new novel by Colson Whitehead, author of the bestselling and award-winning The Underground Railroad. The publisher has UK and Commonwealth rights in The Nickel Boys from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein, on behalf of Nicole Aragi at Aragi, Inc.

The Nickel Boys (July 2019) is the story of two boys sentenced to a stretch in a hellish reform school in Jim-Crow-era Florida. When Elwood Curtis makes an innocent mistake and ends up in the Nickel Academy, he tries to live up to the ideals expressed by Martin Luther King. But his new friend Turner thinks that the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.

Whitehead's story is based on that of a real institution. He said: "It was a story I hadn't seen told before - another one of our country's secret tragedies. I wanted to speak for [the boys], in whatever small way I could."

The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award.

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