13th March 2020

Manilla Press acquires Vesper’s debut in four-way auction

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Manilla Press acquires Vesper’s debut in four-way auction

Sophie Orme, publishing director for Zaffre and Manilla Press, has acquired UK Commonwealth Rights for Inga Vesper’s debut novel, The Long, Long Afternoon, from Giles Milburn at Madeline Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency following a fiercely fought four-way auction.

The Long, Long Afternoon is a gripping and deeply atmospheric reading group mystery set in California, 1959, and revolves around the disappearance of housewife Joyce Haney. It will be published in spring 2021 under Bonnier Book UK’s new imprint Manilla Press. Manilla Press has created a new web page where readers can sign-up for advance proof copies of the book – https://mailchi.mp/bonnierbooks/longlongafternoon.

‘It’s the rich characters and intoxicating atmosphere of those long summer afternoons, brimming with secrets, which will linger on in your mind long after the final page has been turned.’

Sophie Orme, Publishing Director for Zaffre and Manilla Press

Inga Vesper said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled that my debut novel has found a home at Bonnier Books UK. The Long, Long Afternoon is, first and foremost, a riveting mystery. Set in California in 1959, the novel explores complex themes such as gender equality and self-actualisation through the lens of a mysterious disappearance, which leads to a horrible discovery at the heart of the perfect family.

‘I was inspired by the 1950s, because I believe that the stifling rigidity of this decade, with its clear gender rules, conservative politics and strictly enforced social codes, lay the ground work for the 60s, which brought on global student revolutions, the civil rights movement, and second-wave feminism. Behind the veneer of perfect 50s imagery lies something very dark and disturbing. This is what The Long, Long Afternoon seeks to bring to the fore.’

Sophie Orme, Publishing Director for Zaffre and Manilla Press, said: ‘As soon as I read the first line of The Long, Long Afternoon, I knew this was something really special. This beguiling reading group mystery is perfect for fans of Tangerine and Tigers in Red Weather. The mystery behind the strange disappearance of a housewife will hook you in, but it’s the rich characters and intoxicating atmosphere of those long summer afternoons, brimming with secrets, which will linger on in your mind long after the final page has been turned.’

‘I am so utterly thrilled that the wonderful Sophie Orme and her team at Manilla Press will be publishing the book – her passion for The Long, Long Afternoon has been wonderful to behold, and I cannot wait to see her magic at work.’

Giles Milburn, literary agent

Giles Milburn, literary agent, added: ‘There are times when you read the opening of a book, and you know that you have come across something special. And from the very first line of Inga’s incredible debut I was convinced that this was, indeed, a true gem. Inga’s ability to place her reader in the oppressive atmosphere of a 1950s suburban summer, her cast of memorable characters, and the unfolding mystery they find themselves in will enthral, entertain and transport. And I am so utterly thrilled that the wonderful Sophie Orme and her team at Manilla Press will be publishing the book – her passion for The Long, Long Afternoon has been wonderful to behold, and I cannot wait to see her magic at work.’

Image credit: Mathies Drebing