By David Canfield
December 09, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST
Esme Wang

Fresh off her acclaimed and best-selling nonfiction debut, Esmé Weijun Wang has found a home for her next few books.

The author of the essay collection The Collected Schizophrenias has inked a major two-book deal with Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, EW can exclusively announce. Wang will produce both fiction and nonfiction, building on the success of her most recent work. (Her first book, The Border of Paradise, was a novel published in 2016.)

First to come with Riverhead is the novel Soft Animals, about a chronically ill woman who moves into a small-town lodge with her volatile husband after inheriting it from the parents of a hate-crime victim; then, The Unexpected Shape, a work of nonfiction exploring the balance between ambition and limitation in contemporary life.

“Though my aim in writing anything, whether fiction or nonfiction, is to challenge myself, there is always a leap of joy in me that I should get to be a published writer at all,” Wang tells EW. “I’m thrilled to be coming to Riverhead, home of so many brilliant authors that I admire and adore, and to have a chance to share these next two books with readers both old and new.”

Wang’s Collected Schizophrenias, an autobiographical and scientific exploration of mental illness, won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize as well as a Whiting Award for Nonfiction. The book is a New York Times best-seller.

Wang was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists of 2017; she has also received fellowships to Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.

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