Renard Press signs Diell’s ‘beautifully crafted’ debut novel about a woman who lays an egg

Friday 8th September 2023

Renard Press has acquired Rose Diell’s debut novel Fledging, which was longlisted for the Reflex Press Novella Award 2022 and is described as “a brilliantly original take on the topical debate on the child-free movement and women’s right to choose”.

UK and Commonwealth volume and e-book rights, excluding Canada and ANZ, were acquired by publisher Will Dady from Laetitia Rutherford at Watson, Little. Publication is scheduled for August 2024.

The synopsis reads: “When Lia lays an egg she doesn’t know what to do. At her age, it’s impossible to escape the baby question, and all her friends seem to be having children. She feels her heart’s not in it – but all the same, there’s the egg, impossible to ignore, lying in a nest of towels in the living room.

“Her partner on tour on the other side of the world and her mother diagnosed with a terminal illness, Lia finds herself torn, unsure whether she’s ready to give up on her songwriting dreams; but time is running out, and she must make one of the biggest decisions of her life.”

The publisher describes the book as “beautifully written and brilliantly original”, and “a riveting tale and resounding call for a woman’s right to make her own choices, whether that means embracing motherhood or living child-free”.

Diell said: “I’m impressed with what Will has done in such a short space of time and I can’t wait for Fledging to hatch with Renard next year. The story may be surreal but the questions Fledging explores are both genuine and personal, to me and to the many people I’ve spoken to during the novel’s gestation. I hope that many women, in particular, will see themselves in this book, and that it will bring into print thoughts they may have had but never spoken aloud.”

Dady said: “I’m delighted to have acquired the UK rights to Fledging, a beautifully crafted and quirky novel that packs a huge punch. On one level billed as an amusing and surreal tale about a woman who lays an egg, this is an extraordinary, understated work that should be recommended reading for anyone who has an opinion on women having children. As arguments blaze around the world over women’s rights, Fledging quietly but powerfully undermines attitudes, and poses important questions, leaving the reader reeling. It’s a pleasure to be working with Rose, and I can’t wait for Fledging’s story to unfold…”

Rutherford added: “I admire Will Dady’s flair in launching Renard Press, and was delighted when Indie Novella first shared Rose’s novel with me. Working with them and with Rose is a delight. We can’t wait for others to experience Fledging – a deeply realist fable about a woman’s right to choose.”