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Penguin Canada, Summer 2019

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Supper Club
A Novel
By (author): Lara Williams
9780735237728 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Humorous / Black Humor Jul 09, 2019
$24.95 CAD
Active 5.6 x 8.2 x 0.83 in 304 pages Penguin Canada Hamish Hamilton
A sharply intelligent and intimate debut novel about a secret society of hungry young women who meet after dark and feast to reclaim their appetites—and their physical spaces—that posits the question: if you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into?

Roberta spends her life trying not to take up space. At almost thirty, she is adrift and alienated from life. Stuck in a mindless job and reluctant to pursue her passion for food, she suppresses her appetite and recedes to the corners of rooms. But when she meets Stevie, a spirited and effervescent artist, their intense friendship sparks a change in Roberta, a shift in her desire for more. Together, they invent the Supper Club, a transgressive and joyous collective of women who gather to celebrate, rather than admonish, their hungers. They gather after dark and feast until they are sick; they break into private buildings and leave carnage in their wake; they embrace their changing bodies; they stop apologizing. For these women, each extraordinary yet unfulfilled, the club is a way to explore, discover, and push the boundaries of the space they take up in the world. Yet as the club expands, growing both in size and rebellion, Roberta is forced to reconcile herself to the desire and vulnerabilities of the body—and the past she has worked so hard to repress. Devastatingly perceptive and savagely funny, Supper Club is an essential coming-of-age story for our times.

Publication History: Original Trade Paperback

EXCITING DEBUT FROM A YOUNG WRITER ON THE RISE: Lara Williams has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her short story collection, A Selfie as Big as the Ritz, received much critical acclaim and was featured in Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Huffington Post, and New York Magazine, among others. Her writing has also been featured in The Guardian, McSweeney’s, and Best British Short Stories.

THE NATURAL SUCCESSOR TO “CAT PERSON”: A shockingly relatable and brutally funny account of modern womanhood—also for fans of Lady Bird.

A CALL TO ARMS FOR THE #METOO MOVEMENT: Supper Club examines assault culture and victims’ resultant anxiety / depression, but it’s also about how to speak up, fight back, and reclaim space. Between the #MeToo movement and the rise of female empowerment stories, Supper Club arrives at the perfect publication moment and will stir conversation about deeply important issues such as female body image and women’s reclaimation of space, both physical and social.

FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS: There’s ongoing cultural interest in complex female friendships as seen in Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. With insight into the ways in which women have been taught to not take up space and the importance of the friendships of youth, both in their intensity and their transience, Williams writes about young womanhood in a way that is both startlingly perceptive and deeply accessible.

A SINGULAR COMING-OF-AGE STORY: Focusing on Roberta’s life in her late 20s and her burgeoning adulthood while at university, Supper Club is a unique take on women, desire, and the power of relationships at different, yet equally formative, stages of life.

FICTION FOR FOODIES: Supper Club offers a stunning take on the power of food, with beautiful descriptions that capture the richness and sensuality of a feast to the practicality and complex psychological resonances of one’s day-to-day relationship with it.

THE NEXT BEST READ: For fans of Conversations with Friends, The Idiot, Sweetbitter, The Vegetarian, and 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl.

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS: We’re excited to partner with Putnam and Hamish in the UK, allowing for additional opportunities for promotion, marketing, and buzz building.

ORIGINAL TRADE: We will publish in the OTPB format.

LARA WILLIAMS is the author of the short story collection A Selfie as Big as the Ritz, and her writing has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, the Times Literary Supplement, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is featured in Best British Short Stories 2017. She writes and teaches Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She lives in Manchester, England.

Author Residence: Manchester, England

Marketing: Reader guide

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Publicity: Potential visit during Fiction Preview

Reviews in national magazines Chatelaine, Elle, Fashion

Blogger/influencer mailing

Summer reading book club

Remote radio interviews

Author Website:

Author Social Media: Twitter: @Lara_A_Williams

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