This spring will bring a bountiful crop of rising writers in the UK literary fiction landscape, many of whom have novels ripe for film treatment.
Several have already been harvested by producers - Scott Rudin and Columbia Pictures have taken rights to Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, the eagerly awaited follow-up to sleeper hit The Kite Runner (already being adapted by David Benioff and Marc Foster for DreamWorks), while Steven Hall's breathtaking The Raw Shark Texts was bravely taken on by Film4.
One of the most compelling stories of the spring is Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Hamid, whose debut novel Moth Smoke won a Betty Trask Award, weaves his uneasy story from a cafe table in Lahore, as embittered narrator Changez talks to a lone US businessman. It could make a small-scale, tense political film; contact Jay Mandel at the William Morris Agency.
Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age is a family saga set against the Bangladeshi war for independence in 1971 as a matriarch struggles to keep her family together. Anam's agent is Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge & White (RCW) in London.
Two of the outstanding fiction debuts of the spring are both set in Wales during the Second World War. Acclaimed short-story writer Peter Ho Davies splits his novel The Welsh Girl between an interrogator of Rudolf Hess and a girl in love with an escaped German prisoner of war. It is atmospheric, but with extraneous plot that could be trimmed; contact agent Abner Stein in London.
Actor, poet and playwright Owen Sheers has taken a leap into the unknown, imagining life if the Normandy landings had failed and the Nazis invaded England. His tale M is set in a tiny Welsh border village abandoned by its men for the resistance movement; the women slowly grow closer to a group of Germans. His agency is also RCW.
In another compelling Wales-set novel, Gold by Dan Rhodes follows a Japanese woman on a curious odyssey through deepest Pembrokeshire. Rhodes has a distinctive voice; his hilarious Little White Car, which follows the vehicle involved in Princess Diana's car crash, is being adapted by longtime James Bond series writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
Publishing industry favourite Charlotte Mendelson returns with her third novel, When We Were Bad, a taut and fresh saga tracing the breakdown of a rabbi's family and the wider community in the run-up to Passover.
- Joel Rickett is deputy editor of The Bookseller