The University of Chicago Press has picked up Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel A Naked Singularity for release on May 1st this year. The novel was previously self-published by De La Pava, and has won widespread praise from a number of critics.
A Naked Singularity is about a public defender named Casi who becomes involved in a number of stories in New York: he works pro bono on a death penalty case; he becomes aware of a kidnapped infant; and his neighbours start conducting bizarre psychological experiments. The narrative has been described as ‘messy’ (in a good way) and the book has been compared to the works of authors such as David Foster Wallace and William Gaddis.
It was a review by Scott Bryan Wilson that brought the book to the attention of University of Chicago Press. De La Pava has since published a second novel, Personae. The decision by the University of Chicago Press to pick the novel up shows once again that self-publishing can lead to traditional deals; it also shows that it’s still very rare for a self-published work to get noticed by mainstream critics.