hodder scoops ‘darkly compelling’ debut by way of former city legal professional shah

Hodder & Stoughton has signed Her, the “darkly compelling” debut novel by former City lawyer Meera Shah.

Editorial director Sara Adams acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for Her and one other title from Camilla Bolton at Darley Anderson. Her will publish in March 2023, with a second novel to follow in spring 2024.

With Her described as a darkly compelling novel about two women who live across the street from one another and find themselves sucked into each other’s worlds with devastating consequences, Bolton heralds Shah as “an amazing new talent” whose debut “hooked” her from the very first line.

“We live in a world where we can find ourselves in such close proximity to others, but do we ever really know who our neighbours are, or what they are hiding?” she said. “Meera has found the perfect home with Sara and Hodder and this is the beginning of something very special.”

Adams said: “I was so captured by Meera’s novel from the beginning: what starts off as a story of obsession becomes so much more. It’s a psychological drama, but it’s also a novel about survival, about confronting your past and shaping your own future. I’m so excited for readers to discover Rani and Natalie’s story – and we can’t wait to launch Meera’s novels at Hodder.”

Shah, who was born in London to two Indian-African parents, wrote the novel during the first lockdown while studying on a three-month Curtis Brown Creative course.

She added: “I can still hardly believe that the words that came flowing out of me during the claustrophobic intensity of the first national lockdown became my first novel, let alone found the perfect home. It has been wonderful  to work with Sara and the team. I adore her vision for the book and I’m sure that together we can do Rani and Natalie’s story justice.”

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