Do Not Touch! Announcing Face, the Debut Novel by Joma West

Tordotcom Publishing is delighted to announce the acquisition of two books from debut author Joma West! Face and an untitled second novel were acquired in a deal negotiated by Tordotcom’s Executive Editor Lee Harris and Joma’s agent Robbie Guillory of the Kate Nash Literary Agency in a worldwide deal. Face will be published in early 2022.

Face asks: In a world where touch and physical intimacy is considered abhorrent, is it possible for family—and by extension, society—to function, and can we ever break free of the assumptions we make about race and class, and how those tie into the way we view our own humanity?

Editor Lee Harris said:

Every once in a while a book crosses my desk that makes me sit up and think deeply about the world around me. Face was one such book. It’s a massively entertaining read—of course—but it also asks some fundamental questions about society and our place in it, and how we connect—not just to our friends and families, but to the wider community through our actions and others’ perceptions of us on social media as well as in the real word. Face is a stunning debut novel, and I only wish you could all read it right now!

Author Joma West added:

Face started out as a short story that I wrote and left behind. But the idea kept coming back to me. I kept wondering about different characters and what they were doing in the weird world I had made. And it is a weird world. One which many people have been uncomfortable in and left. So when Lee Harris said it was a world he wanted to bring to an audience I was thrilled, not just because he liked it but because he really understood it and what it represented. To have Tordotcom work on this book with me is a dream because they work with people I adore. I feel like I’m joining the big leagues. And there’s a part of me thinking: about bloody time!

Joma West is a third culture writer whose work straddles both fantasy and science fiction. Growing up bouncing between countries has given her work a certain displaced flavour and you can see many African and Asian influences in her writing. Joma’s novella, Wild, won the 2016 MMU novella award. She has had short stories published in various anthologies. You can find her on Twitter @JomaWest. She lives in Glasgow.


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