getimage-83.aspx   A psychologically taut tale about a virtuoso pianist plagued by unwanted music in his head Jan, an experienced virtuoso pianist, is about to go on stage to perform his solo. But, once again, the music he hears in his head is not what he is supposed to be playing. Will it go away in time, or will it sabotage his performance? As he struggles with this hidden condition, he thinks about his high school friend Dirk - a magnetic, eccentric personality. It began like a game, with Dirk playfully stealing Jan's first girlfriend. And it continued like a game - a very close friendship with an undertone of danger. They go their separate ways after high school, but when they reunite as adults, Jan wonders: is Dirk really the strong character he appeared to be, and was their friendship in fact real, life-long love? The final game Jan plays - a blind ride on a dark country road - is the most dangerous of all. In this powerful debut, Eric Beck Rubin conjures up a moving tale full of music and raw human emotion, with a virtuoso touch. Out November 17th! Don't miss this absolute gem of a debut novel (pre-order on our shop now).

We're delighted to be able to unveil the beautiful Jonathan Gray-designed cover for Sympathy, the debut novel from Olivia Sudjic out with ONE in May 2017. Sympathy is set in the age of algorithm, when a chance encounter is anything but. This is an electrifying debut novel of obsessive love, family secrets, and the dangers of living our lives online At 23, Alice Hare leaves England for New York - the city of her birth, before she was adopted by a British mother and an American father. As she falls in love with the big city, she also becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer living in New York whose life has strange parallels with her own. Their 'chance' encounter and subsequent relationship expose a dark tangle of lies and sexual encounters as three families across the globe collide, and the most ancient of questions - where do we come from? - can be answered just by searching online. Now the only challenge is sitting tight until May to read it...  

Minor Outsider cover

1. The Minor Outsider was originally a short story published in Vice magazine. What sort of response did you receive from readers at the time, and when and why did you decide to turn the story into a novel?

What became The Minor Outsider began before the VICE excerpt appeared and soon after I crushed my hand in an industrial mixer, while I was working at a bakery in Missoula, Montana, around 2012. At the hospital, a nurse laid me down, put an IV in my arm, pumped me full of dilaudid, and, after listening to my deranged laments, said, very calmly, “Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something.” In retrospect, her insight sounds obvious, cavalier. But I was desperate then, and I tried to listen. The only way to listen to something as inarticulate as the universe, I found, was to try to slow down and pay closer attention to my experience in the universe.

So, during this period, I started to write (one-handed) in third-person about my life, because if my life were my subject, I would have to try to notice it. The stories I wrote were formless and mundane, like my life, so I began to insert lies into the truth I was trying to record. The lies began to give the anecdotes plots, turning them into stories. The stories were all about the same character: a skewed version of me. Stories about one character? That’s a novel, I thought. Or could be, if I did a lot of work, which I put off doing. In one of these stories, this character was in love, worked in a bakery, found out he had tumors growing in his brain, fled to a mermaid bar in Great Falls, Montana, and slept with a young stranger in a primitive cabin. Much to my surprise, an editor at VICE accepted it for publication. When it was posted online, I eagerly went to see my story there, in all its glory. I found a comment from someone from Arizona. It said, ‘I cant fap to this!’ Someone else commented, ‘Faggot.’ Someone else sent me a drawing of the protagonist’s girlfriend lying seductively in bed. And someone else—a German living in London—told me he wanted to make a short film of the story, flew to LA, drove several days to Montana, stayed in my house, and went with me to the Great Falls mermaid bar where the story was set. One thing I found interesting about the response was that a lot of people seemed to believe the story was about a person who was heavily into hard drugs, which it wasn’t. It was about a person who was into smoking a lot of pot and watching people do hard drugs on the internet. Not to spoil anything, but that response informed what I decided to have happen to the protagonist later on in his story, when I decided to expand it.

Over the next couple of years, that’s what I did: I kept writing about this character, assembling these various stories and scraps, revising them and arranging them, adding to them and subtracting from them. And all the while, the VICE story—“The Minor Outsider”—served as a kind of keystone that I built around until I completed The Minor Outsider.

2. Your novel is set mostly in the town of Missoula, Montana, where you have lived for a number of years. How close is this fictional setting to the real one, and how did living in Montana influence your writing?

I tried to carefully document Missoula as I knew it during the writing of The Minor Outsider. The names of bars, mountains, rivers, and streets are all real. So are the backyards, apartments, parties, shows, bike rides, and head shops depicted. ‘Real’ in the sense that they reflect my experience of them. As with anywhere, though, there are many versions of Missoula, many spheres that intersect to various extents. Some barely intersect at all. In The Minor Outsider, I wanted to document the sphere where young adult slackers—many of them privileged, like me—live like they’re still twenty and always will be, riding their bikes to little house parties, seeing fun punk bands at the VFW, smoking weed on a Tuesday afternoon, making their art without expectations, swimming and hiking and skiing in some of the most beautiful and remote locations in the Lower 48. Oh, and drinking. Drinking a lot. It’s an amazing world and living in it allowed me to find and follow my intuition and write The Minor Outsider. Anywhere else, and I don’t think I would’ve.

3. Ed and Taylor’s love story is both beautiful and painful to ‘watch’. Was it difficult to write?

When love first takes over, it more or less erases all other concerns. To the lover, the beloved looks like the solution to all of their problems: If only I had her, I wouldn’t care about anything else. It’s kind of desperate and embarrassing. It’s like realizing you need God: If You do this for me, I’ll do whatever You want. From the outside, when the beloved is obviously just a person—or worse yet, a fictional character—this feeling often seems absurd, dumb. It can be extremely tedious to be around or to read about. There’s no tension. It’s not interesting. What makes love interesting—in a song or a book or a movie—is when you can see the love so close up and with such specificity that you notice the cracks that exist from the very beginning and that will spread and, as they spread, undermine the love. Often, these flaws are the very characteristics that make the love possible to begin with. This makes love interesting in art, but it’s also what makes love so painful in life, it seems to me. So, yes, Ed and Taylor’s love story was difficult to write. And painful. But it was also a pleasure. Anytime you look at something more closely, it becomes more fascinating and beautiful.

4. Almost everyone in your novel is an outsider, in a state of transience. Does this reflect your own experience?

Three months ago, my wife and I sold most of our stuff and packed the rest in the back of a pickup truck and moved 2,500 miles away, to a city where we literally know no one, where my wife had never been, where we did not have jobs, and where we have no reason to be. So, yes, I think I like to put myself in situations where I can be on the outside, looking in, from a vantage that offers a little more perspective. One of the easiest ways to get into that position is to go somewhere new. But if you’re always on your way somewhere else, you’re never able to look long enough, to see anything more than the superficial. I like to move but not travel.

5. How do you feel about the fact that you are first being published by a London-based publishing house?

Publishing a book is something I never really believed I’d do, even as I staked so much upon the dream of doing so. When The Minor Outsider was bought, even my computer didn’t believe it was true: the email containing the official offer from ONE was filed in my Spam folder. So, first off, I’m grateful my book’s being published at all. Second off, I was so pleased by the accidental way in which you discovered it (or I discovered you), via my LinkedIn profile, which I didn’t even know I had and which you didn’t even mean to look at. Third off, I was amazed that the person who found my book in this way was you, an editor not only for a press I greatly admire (Pushkin) but also for a newish imprint devoted to debut writers. It was such a serendipitous and unlikely shortcut for my manuscript to take, from my house in Montana to your desk on the other side of the world and, next, to bookshelves in a country where I have never been. I can’t imagine a better route or destination for my book. In many ways, being published in the UK before being published in the US makes perfect sense. For me, the best things seem to happen the way this happened: via accident and coincidence. Plus, doesn’t it seem fitting for a book called The Minor Outsider to begin its life abroad, in temporary exile?

6. Do you think you might return to Ed and/or Taylor in a future novel?

That’s an interesting question. As a reader, I like to think about the author at work behind the scenes, tinkering with things. For example, I love the great Geoff Dyer novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, which is split into two parts, one of which is told in the third-person and one of which is told in the first-person and both of which seem to be about the same character, who also seems to be essentially the author. The reader wonders who is who, a whole new layer of intrigue opens up, the book assumes another dimension or two. All of which is just to say, I’m working on a new novel now and, while Ed and Taylor will likely return, they will likely do so with new identities, disguised but still themselves.

7. You have had many different and unusual jobs – have any of them influenced your writing?

Some have, some haven’t. There’s this romantic idea that you work some crappy job—washing dishes at a vegetarian restaurant in South Carolina, making omelets at a fake French restaurant in Michigan, moving people out of apartments in Chicago, slicing deli meats in a warehouse in Montana—and you learn about life, about how a wide variety of people live, and this knowledge extends the range and depth of your writing. I have believed in this idea, but in my experience, it’s not that easy. Being a college-educated American working in a restaurant kitchen is not the same as being an illegal Mexican immigrant working in a restaurant kitchen. For one thing, you work eight hours a day and he works sixteen. For another, you move onto graduate school and he gets deported. So, despite enjoying some of them, I don’t think I’ve learned all that much from many of the menial jobs I’ve worked. Except don’t put your hand in an industrial mixer. On the other hand, when you spend your workday, as I did today, writing a 1,000-word biography of a seventeenth-century poet so obscure not even his birth or death dates are known, it can’t help but influence the way you write other things, including fiction. From the years I’ve spent doing this kind of dry reference writing, plus the time I’ve spent as a newspaper reporter and as a staff writer for a disreputable regional boating magazine, I’ve learned the value of treating writing as a method of communication instead of as a means for demonstrating the writer’s cleverness. This was an important—and difficult—lesson for me to learn.

8. When you first thought about writing Ed’s character, did you know immediately that he would be defined by his illness?

Yes, I believe so. One main impetus for the book was an interest in the ways we distance ourselves from our selves. One big example: the internet, a place store your thoughts, memories, and identity while your body deteriorates and you move toward death. We’re becoming like Krang from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: brains trapped inside machines. And that’s how the medical world treats the body: as a machine, with the brain acting as the computer that operates it. This treatment has always fascinated and disturbed me, in part because I have spent a lot of time in waiting rooms and operating rooms and hospital beds and MRI machines, being prodded and diagnosed and rebuilt and repaired. One of the first things I saw when I started to write about Ed was the tumor growing on the inside of his arm. It was a little bomb of plot implanted inside him. The wick starts to burn when Taylor notices it and forces Ed to see it.

9. Who are your favourite writers and most important literary influences?

Julie Hecht, James Salter, Paul Maliszewski, Geoff Dyer, Édouard Levé, Roberto Bolano, W.G. Sebald, Joy Williams, David Berman, David Gates, Dennis Cooper, James Welch, Tove Jansson, Viktor Shklovsky, Atticus Lish, J.M. Coetzee, Leonard Michaels, Mavis Gallant, James Purdy, Lawrence Weschler, Leo Tolstoy, Gilbert Sorrentino, Samuel Beckett, John O’Hara, Gertrude Stein, Douglas Glover, Lydia Davis, Rachel Aviv, Flann O’Brien, Peter Stamm.

10. Who is Ted McDermott?

Just a guy in West Philadelphia who hates the passage of time, seeks ways to slow it down, and, so far, has found that writing works best.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize – the most prestigious prize for literature in English. See the longlist announcement here. "Awesome in the true sense of the word... a magnificent debut" – Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize Winner (more…)

Click here to meet our next ONE author, Nigerian novelist Chigozie Obioma. His brilliant debut The Fishermen will be published in February 2015, and we can't wait!

We are very excited to celebrate the launch of Boris Fishman's A Replacement Life, praised as ‘mordantly funny and moving’ by The New York Times, out on September 11th. The event will take place on Monday, 15th September from 6.30–8.00pm at Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street, and will include a short reading by the author of this ‘bold, ambitious and wickedly smart’ debut. 'Fishman's ability to handle the highly complex moral ambiguities as well as his laugh-out-loud one-liners make this a brilliant tragicomedy - one that almost matches Howard Jacobson at his best'  Christina Appleyard, Daily Mail To win tickets to this event, tweet a link to this page with the tag #fishmaninlondon before 5 p.m. on Thursday. Winners will be drawn at random from a top hat and informed anon thereafter. To find out more about the book that has everyone talking, click here.


‘Piercing, witty and enviably well written’ New Statesman ‘The real thing... Fishman is at his best... in the disputed territory between truth and lies’ Observer ‘Funny and astute’ Sunday Times ‘Fishman’s ability to handle the highly complex moral ambiguities as well as his laugh-out-loud one-liners make this a brilliant tragicomedy – one that almost matches Howard Jacobson at his best’ Christina Appleyard, Daily Mail ‘Mordantly funny and moving’ The New York Times

A Replacement Life is a memorable debut by a wonderfully gifted young writer... Boris Fishman has written a beautifully nuanced, tender, and often very funny novel about conscience and familial loyalty that will linger long in the memory’ Joyce Carol Oates

‘Slava,’ a waterlogged voice – his mother’s – whispered in Russian. He felt anger, then something less certain. Anger because he had said not to call. The other because generally she obeyed nowadays. ‘Your grandmother isn’t,’ she said. She burst into tears.

Isn’t. Verbiage was missing. In Russian, you didn’t need the adjective to complete the sentence, but in English, you did. In English, she could still be alive.

Young Russian immigrant Slava Gelman wants to be a great American writer, but is only a researcher at a New Yorker-style magazine. When his beloved grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, dies, his grandfather corners him with a request: could he forge a few Holocaust restitution claims? Slava resists at first, but eventually his semi-fictional accounts turn out to be the best writing he has ever done. Although he lives in fear of discovery and continues to stumble from one tragicomic incident to the another, by the time Slava is finally confronted by a German government employee he is ready to play a role that is – almost – heroic.

‘Bold, ambitious and wickedly smart... The only problem with this novel is that its covers are too close together. I wanted more’ Patricia T. O'Conner, New York Times Book Review

‘A powerful yet tender narrative that explores the tug of war between the past and the future for immigrant families in America’ Newsweek

‘Ingenious’ New Yorker

‘Astonishingly brilliant’ Chicago Tribune

336pp Published on 11/09/2014 ISBN: 9780957548831 Paperback

2 March 2014 at 5:00pm “If David Foster Wallace had written Eat, Pray, Love it might have come close to approximating the adventures of Gideon Lewis-Kraus”, wrote Gary Shteyngart on his friend’s debut novel, A Sense of Direction. JBW brings the two writers together to discuss an incredible series of pilgrimages. Tickets £9.50 Click here for more information, and to book.  

Not much time left till publication of Gideon Lewis-Kraus's A Sense of Direction – but you can view the trailer now! A Sense of Direction is out on 13 February.

Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s memoir A Sense of Direction is an account of three pilgrimages – the Camino de Santiago, a tour of Buddhist temples on the island of Shikoku, and a journey to the tomb of a Hasidic Rabbi in the Ukraine – undertaken in the wake of a family crisis. Gideon will be at the shop to talk about pilgrimage, writing and reconciliation with Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be? and Christian Lorentzen, senior editor at the London Review of Books. Click here for more information. Date and Time: 28 February 2014 at 7 p.m. Place: London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL Tickets: £10

"Beautiful, often very funny... a story that is both searching and purposeful, one that forces the reader, like the pilgrim, to value the journey as much as the destination" New Yorker 9780957548824

Gideon Lewis-Kraus moved to Berlin in search of something he could not really define. It had to do with a lack of focus in his life, and with the pain his father, a rabbi, had caused his family when he came out in middle age and emotionally abandoned his sons. But Berlin offered only dissipation. To continue his inner journey, Gideon undertakes three pilgrimages along ancient routes, travelling hundreds of miles, mostly on foot: the thousand-year old Camino de Santiago in Spain with a friend, a solo circuit of eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the Japanese island of Shikoku, and finally, a visit to the tomb of a famous Hassidic mystic in Ukraine. On this last pilgrimage, Gideon reconnects with his father, and discovers that the most meaningful quest of all was the journey of his heart. A Sense of Direction is a travel memoir with the emotional power of a novel: A stunningly written, thought-provoking, and very funny meditation on what gives our lives a sense of purpose, and how we travel between past and present in search of hope for our future.  "If David Foster Wallace had written Eat, Pray, Love it might have come close to approximating the adventures of Gideon Lewis-Kraus" Gary Shteyngart "Gideon Lewis-Kraus has written a very honest, very smart, very moving book about being young and rootless and even wayward. With great compassion and zeal he gets at the question: why search the world to solve the riddle of your own heart?" Dave Eggers 384 pp Published 13/02/2014 ISBN 9780957548824 Paperback A Sense of Direction will be BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week starting on 10 March,  9:45 a.m. Mon – Fri, repeated at 12.30am.

Congratulations to our author Jamie Mason whose debut Three Graves Full was chosen as one of the best books of 2013 by Library Journal! Click here for more information. Buy the book here!