FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2012
Pushcart Prize nominee Michael F. Smith’s debut novel “RIVERS”
Pushcart Prize nominee Michael F. Smith’s debut novel “RIVERS” has been acquired by Simon & Schuster in a World English rights deal and is scheduled for release in the summer of 2013.
Smith is an award-winning fiction writer and associate professor of English at MUW. “RIVERS follows the acclaimed 2011 publication of his novella, “The Hands of Strangers,” which Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, called “Fantastic…making more of an impact than most novels three times its size.”
“RIVERS” is an apocalyptic love story set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after a climate shift has unleashed a series of catastrophic storms, leaving few survivors below the government-drawn boundary known as The Line. Violent and lawless, the region below The Line is home to, among others, a band of thrill-seekers intent on excavating millions buried by corrupt casino bosses before the evacuations; an itinerant preacher with dangerous visions of repopulating the devastated region; and a man named Cohen whose devotion to his lost wife and child will eventually force him from his home to seek salvation, and to punish those who would try to rob him of his last beautiful memories.
“RIVERS” was acquired by senior editor Sarah Knight, whose bestselling novelists include James Lee Burke and Chris Cleave. She said, “`RIVERS’ is glorious in its scope and imagination, a story of truly Biblical proportions that held me rapt until the final, heartbreakingly beautiful scene. Michael F. Smith is a rare talent and I am thrilled to help launch his career at Simon & Schuster.”
Smith is represented by Peter Steinberg of The Steinberg Agency, whose clients have been nominated for and awarded Edgars, The Pulitzer Prize, The Story Prize, The Paris Review Discovery Prize, PEN/Faulkner and National Book Awards. The German rights to “RIVERS” have already been sold to Heyne Publishing House, a division of Random House. Film rights are being represented by the Los Angeles-based Creative Artists Agency.
Smith has been awarded the Transatlantic Review Award, Brick Streets Press Short Story Award, Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship and the Alabama Arts Council Fellowship Award for Literature. He is a graduate of Mississippi State and has taught creative writing at MUW since 2007. More information about Smith and his work is available at www.michaelfsmith.com.