We are delighted to announce deals in the US and UK for Christine Murphy’s debut novel, NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE.

North American rights were acquired by Vanessa Haughton and Jennifer Barth at Knopf at auction, and Wildfire Books pre-empted UK & Commonwealth rights. NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE is a bold and abrasive takedown of campus rape culture, and a critique of our capacity to tolerate such violence against women.

Editorial director Ella Gordon bought rights from Catherine Cho at Paper Literary. Wildfire and Knopf will publish simultaneously in spring 2025.

In Murphy’s novel we meet Sarah, a final-year PhD student in southern California, caught in a landscape of extreme wealth and raging wildfires – a far cry from her childhood spent hunting wild animals in the forests of Maine. These days she spends her time worrying about how she will be able to get a permanent academic position, and also doing ketamine and watching 80s movies with her best friend, Nathan.

Nathan was the only person to believe Sarah when she was assaulted by a fellow student. Sarah reported it to the university and to the police, but nothing happened. When Nathan is found dead of an alleged overdose, Sarah is convinced it is a murder; but, once again, the police don’t believe her.

As she digs into the case, she stumbles upon a disturbing pattern in the deaths of other young men on campus and begins to piece together a possible link between the victims.

Gordon said: ‘There are so many layers to Christine’s arresting debut. On the surface it’s a gripping literary page-turner about rape culture and revenge; but interwoven through that are deeper questions about attitudes to violence; in what circumstances – if any – one can justify killing; and there’s even some Buddhist philosophy in there for good measure. We can’t wait for readers to get their hands on this incendiary debut next year.’

Murphy said: ‘NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE’ is my namesake- dark, rude, and wildly inappropriate. I am thrilled that Ella and the team at Wildfire love my enfant terrible as I do. I am grateful to them, and to my brilliant, ballsy agent, Catherine Cho of Paper Literary.

Cho said: “When I first finished reading Christine’s novel I felt I was clutching a heart in my fist – it is defiant, rage-filled, and darkly funny – it demands attention. Christine is a remarkable voice, and I am delighted she has found a wonderful home with Knopf and Wildfire.”

Christine Murphy has lived, worked and travelled in over 100 countries, including eleven months in a tent across the African continent and a year as a resident in a Buddhist nunnery in the Himalayas. She completed the world’s longest for-charity horse ride across Northern Mongolia, during which she broke her back (for the second time). A trained Buddhologist, Christine has a PhD in Religious Studies.

NOTES ON SURVIVING THE FIRE will be published in February 2025.