Novel, 260 pages
French rights sold
Maya Merrick’s first book, Sextant, is narrated by the perpetually displaced Cassy Peerson, a young woman who lives in a car on a beach in an unnamed California town and works as a mermaid at a strip club. Although this is her first publication Merrick writes with the maturity of someone who has absorbed the classics of literature, as if Dorthy Parker had channeled William Faulkner. Filled with spunky dialogue and strong character development Sextant is a searing portrait of dysfunction and redemption from a rising new talent.
“Waif. Wastrel. Wraith. Cassy Peerson, the heroine of Maya Merrick’s first novel, Sextant, is like some street-busted little match girl – but one with a stiletto blade stashed in her ripped fishnets. Buttonholing you like a bleached and bruised Ancient Mariner, Cassy almost convinces you that she couldn’t care less if you paid attention to her curbside pitch – but it’s one you’ll find yourself following fascinated to the very end. Provoking acidic laughter in startling places, interlaced with blurts of spleen-filled surrealism, and set in a no-body’s-land populated by a bestiary of transvestites, cast-offs, and skin-shedding mermaids, Merrick’s Sextant is a mesmerizing debut.”
– Taras Grescoe