Faber picks up Max Porter’s ‘polyphonic’ new novel

Photo (c) Francesca Jones

Faber has scooped Shy, the new novel by Max Porter which tells the story of a troubled teenager.

Publisher Alex Bowler acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Lisa Baker at Aitken Alexander. The publication date is 6th April 2023. 

“Things keep slipping up for Shy,” the synopsis reads. “All he wants is sex, spliffs and his own turntables, and for all the red noise in his mind to disappear. But again and again he spirals past his senses and ends up with his head in his hands and carnage around him. At Last Chance – a home for ‘very disturbed young men’ – he is surrounded by people who want to help him, but his night terrors aren’t getting any better. So tonight he’s stepping into it, with the haunted beginnings of a plan.”

The publisher said: “Shy is the polyphonic story of a troubled teenager, written with all of the humanity and trademark invention of one of Britain’s most exciting writers.” 

Published with Faber, Porter’s first book Grief Is the Thing with Feathers won the Sunday Times/Peters, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. 

His second novel Lanny (Faber) was a Sunday Times bestseller and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. The marketing team at Faber were widely commended in the industry for their wide-ranging campaign for the novel. His work has been translated into 30 languages. He has previously worked as a bookseller and editor and has also written The Death of Francis Bacon (Faber), the short film “All of this Unreal Time” and the pamphlet It’s Going to Be a Bright New Day (Rough Trade Books).