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Polygon acquires World English language rights to Weak Teeth, by Lynsey May

  04 Jul '22   |  Posted by: Birlinn

James Crawford, Editor-at-large at Polygon, has acquired World English language rights, including audio, to Weak Teeth by Lynsey May, from Sara Langham at David Higham Associates.

Dark, raw, and often painfully funny, Weak Teeth is May’s debut novel – a blackly comic tale of family, infidelity, and extreme toothache. The story follows Ellis as her life crumbles without warning: dumped by her boyfriend and left with nothing but a crack in her heart, scraps in her bank account and a mouthful of unreliable teeth. Forced to move back to her childhood home, she finds that her mother is dating a younger man – a dentist no less – while her sister Lana can barely control her fury at everyone and everything around her. As a long, hot summer grips the city, Ellis’s world spins increasingly out of control – feverish with toothache, she finds herself stallkng her ex’s new lover on Facebook and then in real life. Weak Teeth offers a sharp and poignant examination of the raw nerves of modern relationships, and shows us how forge a future even when you’re full to the brim with memories of the past.

‘I fell in love with Weak Teeth from the moment I first read it.  In Ellis, Lynsey has created such a brilliant and deadpan character navigating the painful world of breakups and dentists and I’m so pleased that it’s found a perfect home with Polygon’

Lynsey May won first place in the Fresh Ink novel contest in 2020, a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013, a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2015 and a spot as Cove Park’s Emerging Scottish Writer in 2016. She’s been longlisted in the Mslexia novel competition and runner up in Borough Press’ open novel competition. Her short fiction has been published in various journals and anthologies, including The Stinging FlyGutter, New Writing Scotland and Banshee.

May said, ‘I’m thrilled Weak Teeth has found a home with Polygon and delighted to be working with James and the rest of the team. I’m so happy that my blackly comic take on the sacrifices we make for family and partners is in safe hands.’

‘An original and audacious book, shot through with the most wonderful streak of wry humour’

James Crawford said, ‘Lynsey’s talent is obvious from the very first sentences of this novel. It is rare to read such an accomplished debut. The writing is pin sharp and her ear for dialogue is exceptional – not a word is wasted. This is an original and audacious book, shot through with the most wonderful streak of wry humour, and some glorious tangents on the bizarre history of teeth and dentistry’.

Agent Sara Langham said, ‘I fell in love with Weak Teeth from the moment I first read it.  In Ellis, Lynsey has created such a brilliant and deadpan character navigating the painful world of breakups and dentists and I’m so pleased that it’s found a perfect home with Polygon. I can’t wait to see it out in the world.’ Weak Teeth is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2023.


The Polygon team are delighted to welcome Lynsey to the list and look forward to working for her as publication approaches.

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