Celadon Books is pleased to announce our latest acquisition, SAINT X by Alexis Schaitkin. Upon reading the manuscript, Senior Vice President and Co-Publisher Deb Futter knew that this extraordinary debut novel belonged on the Celadon list. She preempted the auction and acquired the book from agent Henry Dunow of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.
In SAINT X, Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their Caribbean family vacation on the island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found, and two local men are arrested. But the evidence is slim, and the men are soon released.
Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth. As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.
“I literally couldn’t stop reading this novel when it came in on submission,” says Deb. “It is not only one of the most accomplished debuts I have ever read, but it touches on so many important issues: race, family, identity. It is part thriller, part literary novel…utterly transcendent and utterly page-turning.”
Author Alexis Schaitkin’s stories and essays have appeared in The Southern Review, Southwest Review, Ecotone, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and her essays have been notable mentions in The Best American Essays and The Best American Travel Writing. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow.
SAINT X will publish in February 2020. A second untitled book is scheduled tentatively to publish in 2021.