Picador acquires debut novel Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess

In a hotly contested eleven-publisher auction, Picador has acquired Everything’s Fine, the debut novel from Cecilia Rabess.

Sophie Jonathan, Editorial Director at Picador, has acquired UK and Commonwealth print, digital and audio rights to Everything’s Fine, by debut US author Cecilia Rabess from Fiona Baird at WME in an eleven-publisher auction.

North American rights to Everything’s Fine were sold at auction to Carina Guiterman and Lashanda Anakwah at S&S US, by Andrea Blatt at WME. Translation rights have been sold to Companhia das Letras (Brazil), in a pre-empt; to Eichborn (Germany), at auction; to Urano (Spain and Latin America), at auction; and to Strawberry (Norway) by Caitlin Mahony at WME.

Everything’s Fine is about Jess, a young Black woman, and Josh, a preppy white conservative, who fall reluctantly, complicatedly, deeply in love. 

In 2011, Jess is a senior at an Ivy League college. She drinks far too much, she dates the wrong men and spends her days adopting the values of her privileged friends whilst painfully aware that she isn't like them – all too often the only Black woman in the room. Jess craves belonging and acceptance, but she's fed up with the casual racism, the class debates about affirmative action, and she's particularly fed up with know-it-all, Josh, who isn’t shy about broadcasting his infuriating and insensitive opinions. 

The years turn and Jess and Josh move in and out of each other's lives, working at the same investment bank, and slowly, tentatively forming a mismatched friendship. He is sure of his place in the world, she is just beginning to discover hers – but the momentum of being young and, soon, in love propels their relationship forward. That is, until 2016. Trump is approaching office and the cultural landscape is shifting. Jess is forced to finally ask whether they are meant to be, and if, in fact, everything’s fine.

Sophie Jonathan said: ‘In Everything’s Fine Cecilia Rabess has gathered a set of urgent issues around a classic love story with incredible heart, and made it enormously relatable and hugely funny. I laughed, I cried, I shouted. And I’ve never known a novel set Picador and Pan Mac alight like this one has. Everything’s Fine skewers race, class and capitalist culture, it captures the energy at the heart of the best friendships, and the irresistible tug of attraction. Of course, at the end of the novel, we know what the next four years will bring. I don’t know if Jess and Josh can survive the Trump years together, but I can’t help hoping that they do. Everything’s Fine deserves to be a global phenomenon, and I am over the moon that Picador will be Cecilia’s UK home.’

Cecilia Rabess said: ‘I’m thrilled to be joining the Picador family! Picador’s reputation for publishing smart, stylish books is 100% unmatched. I’m also thrilled to be working with Sophie, whose razor-sharp editorial eye I especially admire. And while my novel centers a uniquely American moment, its themes are universal, and I can’t wait to share it with readers across the globe.’ 

Cecilia Rabess’ work has been featured in McSweeneys, FiveThirtyEight, Fast Co, and FlowingData, among others. She drew inspiration for Everything’s Fine from her stint as an Associate at Goldman Sachs and after reading a series of profiles in New York Magazine, “Donald Trump Is Destroying My Marriage”.