I’ve blogged a lot already about debut novels coming this winter—Tea Obrecht, Deborah Harkness and more—but perhaps the most controversial and buzzed about debut of the season comes from Benjamin Hale, an Iowa Writers Workshop graduate who is publishing his first novel with Twelve this February. The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore has a provocative premise: Bruno, who has a passion for painting, has fallen in love with his trainer. When their affair costs her her job, the two set off on a road trip. Where’s the controversy, you ask? Oh yeah—Bruno is a chimp.
“Like its protagonist, this novel is big, loud, abrasive, witty, perverse, earnest and amazingly accomplished,” promises the flap copy. Though not always a fan of narrated-by-animals novels, I’m curious about this one: Twelve publishes only 12 books a year and hence is pretty selective when it comes to their list. Will you give this one a try?