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The haunting tale of a baby found on the beach by a fisherman on Ireland’s west coast has been bought by Knopf in the US and Picador in the UK, and is sure to secure further international sales in Frankfurt.


Picador publishing director Sophie Jonathan acquired UK and Commonwealth print, digital and audiobook rights to Garrett Carr’s The Boy from the Sea from Irene Baldoni at Georgina Capel Associates, and Picador will publish the book as its lead literary debut of spring 2025.


The synopsis says: “It’s 1973; a baby is found on the beach of a close-knit town on Ireland’s west coast. The baby fascinates the community, and the boy he becomes will fascinate them too – no one can quite fathom Brendan Bonnar. That’s the name given to him by Ambrose, the fisherman who adopts the baby…Over the years [the novel]

 charts the rises and falls in the Bonnars’ and the town’s fortunes, as the global economy and the EU fisheries flex their muscles. The world is changing and this corner of Donegal must move with it.”


Jonathan said: “The Boy From the Sea is a staggering piece of storytelling: an exquisite, hilariously funny and perfectly pitched novel about a town pulling back against relentless modernisation and a restless boy trying to find his place in the world. The humour here is delivered with such love, and it is when they are in danger, physical or emotional, that you realise how much you have come to adore the characters in Carr’s novel.


“The communal voice that Garrett has created is like nothing I’ve read before and The Boy From the Sea deserves to win prizes and admirers across the world.”


Carr teaches Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, and has published three YA novels with Simon & Schuster.


Following the UK deal, Carr said: “A lot of me and my background went into this novel so I am delighted to have found a publisher who gets it completely. The Boy From the Sea has its roots among the fishing families of Ireland’s Atlantic coast and, working with the team at Picador, I look forward to introducing this world to readers.”