From the Weidenfeld & Nicholson press release:
“W&N is delighted to announce the acquisition of a stunning debut by Stephanie Scott a stunning debut by Stephanie Scott, THE SENTENCE.
Within the Tokyo underworld there is an industry which exists to break up marriages. It is known today as wakaresaseya. This business is composed of agents who, for a fee, can be hired by one spouse to seduce the other and provide grounds for divorce on favourable terms. The Sentence tells the story of Takashi Nakamura, a wakaresaseya agent, who is hired by a man to seduce his wife, Rina. But then Rina and Takashi fall in love. So why, at the beginning of the story, is Takashi in prison, accused of Rina’s murder? Now, twenty years later, Rina’s daughter Sumiko decides to find out what really happened.
Stephanie Scott is a graduate of the Faber Academy and was awarded a Distinction for her M.St in Creative Writing at Oxford, as well as a BAJS Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on Japan. She has won the AM Heath Prize, the Arvon Jerwood Prize for Literature, the National Centre for Writing Inspires Award and was runner-up for 2017’s Bridport First Novel Award for an early draft of The Sentence.
W&N Publisher, Kirsty Dunseath, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Antony Harwood, with publication set for early summer 2019. A six-figure deal for US rights has been signed with Doubleday, French rights have been acquired by J.C. Lattes and other translation rights deals are currently being negotiated.
Kirsty Dunseath said: ‘This is a beautiful, touching love story as well as an exploration of human frailty and the tensions between family duty and personal freedom. Stephanie’s writing is exquisite and this story unfurls in unexpected ways as Sumiko tries to make sense of her mother’s past. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Stephanie to W&N”