Seren Adams

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Agent: Seren Adams

I worked at Granta and Foyles before joining United Agents in 2015. Since then I have built a list of literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, and many of my authors have been nominated for and won prizes for their work. I am always looking for exceptional and unconventional new voices, though I have to be very selective about what I take on. 

I am looking for literary novels, novellas and stories set anywhere in the world. Increasingly I am drawn to fiction with a distinctive and off-kilter voice which holds my attention, often wryly funny and/or full of feeling, usually inflected with strangeness, intensity or longing of some kind (Big Swiss by Jen Beagin, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, Vladimir by Julia May Jonas, Sylvia by Leonard Michaels, OK, Mr. Field by Katharine Kilalea, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu). For me it is all about the writing, and whether voice, story and form are working together to create something special and original. While I tend not to read historical fiction or genre fiction, I enjoy books which are primarily literary but draw upon other genres; I would love to find an unforgettable high-concept literary novel which could become an instant classic, like Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro or The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I also love realist novels which explore moral, philosophical or political questions, complex relationships, and/or troubling memories (Seven Years by Peter Stamm, The End of the Story by Lydia Davies, Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad, Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey, Remainder by Tom McCarthy, What Belongs To You by Garth Greenwell, Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller). I will always be interested in novels about intimacy, desire, love and loss. 

In non-fiction I love reading sharp essays and hybrid works in the vein of Janet Malcolm, Leslie Jamison, Claudia Rankine, Anna Funder and Christina Sharpe. I love beautifully written and important cultural histories like those by Philippe Sands. I am excited by big ideas books with a radical edge, and keen to see proposals that are doing something new within an established non-fiction genre, such as nature writing. I also love literary true crime, particularly The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère and The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson, and I enjoy anything with a compelling story and investigative elements based on meticulous and sensitive research. 

There is much more I could mention here, and I am open to reading anything excellent and surprising; this list is by no means exhaustive.