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WORD: Debutant Henderson breaks in novel ‘Tap Root’ at St. Martin’s -- without an agent

It’s not often a first-time novelist gets a major publisher to sign them without a literary agent. When they do, it sets off the ‘hot book alert’ sirens and we’ve got a feeling Susan Henderson’s debut ‘Tap Root’ could fit the bill.

Henderson told WORD’N’BASS.com that she recently sold Tap Root to St. Martin’s Press Editor Regina Scarpa, with the publisher also landing first options on any new books she writes. Tap Root is described as a coming-of-age novel set in the 1970s about a young girl who believes her mother has gone missing and -- after finding her living in a secret room in their basement -- must come to terms with their irrevocably changed relationship.

St. Martin's plans to publish Tap Root in Spring of 2008 as a young adult/adult crossover book because the main character is nine. Henderson also describes her work as literary in tone.

Although Tap Root marks Henderson’s debut as a novelist, she’s had considerable background in things literary. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award and a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and her work has appeared in publications such as Zoetrope, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review and South Dakota Review, among others.


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