Rick Gekoski - Writer

Latest Title - Darke

DARKE released in the US 8th November 2018


Dr James Darke has expelled himself from the world. He writes compulsively in his 'coming of old age' journal; he eats little, drinks and smokes a lot.

Meditating on what he has lost – the loves of his life, both dead and alive - he tries to console himself with the wisdom of the great thinkers and poets, yet finds nothing but disappointment.

Jenny Todd, Publisher at Canongate, have acquired World Rights in DARKE, Rick Gekoski’s debut novel, from Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge and White. Jenny Todd says: “DARKE is a stunning and distinctive novel full of living, learning and reading. Above all, it’s heart-breakingly true and wise. We are so proud to be publishing it.”

Canongate published DARKE as a lead title in hardback in the UK in February 2017, with the paperback edition due for release in the UK on 1st February 2018.


8th November 2017: Canongate publish DARKE in the US.

October 2017: Darke - paperback edition due for release in February 2018

February 2017: Canongate publish DARKE as a lead title in hardback in the UK.

October 2016: Canongate acquire world rights.

Some Reviews and Responses

'I was beguiled and charmed by the vivid personality being revealed. By that, and by the fact that I couldn't stop reading. Gekoski puts words together with a sure touch and deep craftsmanship'

'A wondrous book with two fathers, Kingsley Amis and Dante'

'Staggeringly accomplished. Heartbreakingly true. A shockingly monumental first novel'
'Stuffed with more wisdom, bile, wit and tenderness than many writers create in a lifetime. In James Darke we have a hero as troubled and eternal as King Lear . . . And in Rick Gekoski we have a late-flowering genius of a novelist who proves it's never too late to start a glittering career in fiction'

'Rick Gekoski's impressive debut novel . . . Darke is both a tender and hard-hitting examination of grief and the slow, singular healing process . . . A brilliantly vivid creation . . . life-affirming and life-shattering'

'Gekoski has created an extraordinarily memorable character... This is an original and bleakly funny portrait of grief'

'An immensely enjoyable elegy . . . done with precision and patience. I have never laughed as much at a book that made me weep so copiously'


Radio National: Books Plus with Kate Evans - 21 May, 2017


About Rick Gekoski

Rick Gekoski - described by Tatler as “think Bill Bryson, only on books” - is a rare book dealer, writer, and broadcaster. An American who came to England in 1966 (and now a dual citizen, feeling "equally ill at ease in both cultures") he took a B. Phil and D.Phil. in English at Oxford. From 1971-1987 he was a member of the English Department of the University of Warwick, and sometime Chairman of the Faculty of Arts.

He has published a critical book on Joseph Conrad, The Bibliography of William Golding, Staying Up (a book on Premiership Football), a collection of essays entitled Tolkien's Gown and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books (based on his BBC Radio 4 Series Rare Books, Rare People), Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir, and Lost, Stolen, or Shredded: Stories of Missing Works of Art. (Lost, Stolen, or Shredded was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September-October 2009). He has founded two private presses, The Sixth Chamber Press and The Bridgewater Press, which issue finely printed editions of leading contemporary novelists and poets. In 2005 he was one of the judges for the Man Booker Prize, and was then Chair of the judges for the Man Booker International Prize 2011, which was awarded to Philip Roth. He teaches creative non fiction for the Arvon Foundation, and sits on their Development Board. In 2010 he was elected a Trustee of English PEN, and sits on their Board.

He lives in London, the New Forest and New Zealand, is married to Belinda Kitchin and has two children, Anna (a forensic psychologist) and Aaron (family name Bertie, who is an underwater videographer) who appear in both Staying Up and Outside of a Dog.

Literary Agent: Peter Straus, of Rogers, Coleridge and White. More details


Published Books

Staying Up

I am the only football fan who has written a book containing an inside account of a year in the life of a Premiership team.…
Scroll to top