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Celadon Books Pre-empts Chip Cheek’s Debut Novel

Celadon Books is thrilled to announce the acquisition of CAPE MAY by Chip Cheek. Senior Vice President and Co-Publisher of Celadon Books Deb Futter read CAPE MAY overnight after receiving it from Katherine Fausset at Curtis Brown. By the next morning, Deb had already pre-empted the novel by making an offer to buy the book before other publishers could bid on it. Deb knew that it struck the perfect balance between literary and commercial and would shine on Celadon’s inaugural list.

CAPE MAY takes place among the abandoned homes and stark, empty beaches of Cape May, New Jersey, in September—the off-season. It’s 1957, and the very young newlyweds Effie and Henry are on their honeymoon. Innocent, shy of each other, and far from their families in Georgia, they decide to cut their trip short. Before they can leave, they meet a glamorous set of cosmopolitans who sweep them up into their drama, introduce them to a world they never imagined, and leave irrevocable consequences on the rest of their marriage. It is a ferociously sexy, singular look at time gone by, with touches of On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, and a look at how one moment can effect one’s life forever. 

“I fell in love with CAPE MAY the second I started reading,” says Deb. “Chip’s stunning writing grabbed me and didn’t let go. This novel stays with you long after you turn the final page. It’s perfect for book club debates—as soon as you finish, all you’ll want to do is talk about it.”

CAPE MAY is Chip Cheek’s first novel. His stories have appeared in The Southern ReviewHarvard ReviewWashington Square, and other journals and anthologies. Chip has been awarded scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Tin House Summer Writers' Workshop, and the Vermont Studio Center, as well as an Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. He lives in El Segundo, California, with his wife and baby daughter.

CAPE MAY will publish in May 2019, just in time to slip into beach bags. Its beautiful writing, earthy eroticism, and heart wrenching developments will give you the chills, even on the warmest summer days. 

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