Deprivation by Roy Freirich Coming Early 2020

Meerkat Press is excited to announce the acquisition of the much anticipated new novel, Deprivation, by acclaimed author and screenwriter, Roy Freirich. The novel, which Kirkus Reviews calls a “cinematic . . . well-paced action thriller,” will be published early 2020.

Deprivation is a gripping psychological thriller set on a small New England coastal island stricken by an epidemic of insomnia. After a mysterious, silent child is found abandoned on the beach clutching a handheld video game, residents and tourists alike find themselves utterly unable to sleep. Exhaustion impairs judgment, delusions become hysteria, and mob rule explodes into shocking violence. Told from three perspectives: Chief of Police Mays tries to keep order, teenaged tourist Cort and her friends compete in a dangerous social media contest for the most hours awake, while local physician and former Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Sam Carlson battles his guilt over a student’s suicide and the blurriness of his own insomnia, to try to treat the sleepless—until he and the child must flee the violent mob that blames the child for the epidemic.

“I was immediately impressed with Roy’s writing. The novel is absolutely addictive with a pace
and energy that will not let you put it down,” says Tricia Reeks, who acquired the novel for Meerkat.

Roy Freirich’s fiction explores the ways in which we symbolically reenact unresolved experiences in our lives and in our dreams. Deprivation depicts a community denied the outlet of dreams, spiraling into chaos as unconscious fears and urges find other ways to surface. Freirich says of the novel, “It began with my own struggles with insomnia, and the single question that haunted and finally terrified me: what if we were unable to ever sleep again? Deprivation has found the perfect publisher in Meerkat Press, a caring home for fiction with a speculative bent.”

About Roy Freirich: Roy Freirich leads multiple lives as a writer—of lyrics, movies, and novels. His lyrics have been sung by legends Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and Patti Labelle, among many others. He’s written screenplays for Fox Searchlight, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and Sony, and adapted his novel, Winged Creatures, for the film, Fragments, featuring Forest Whitaker, Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Josh Hutcherson, and Kate Beckinsale. He lives with his wife, ever-patient editor and frequent cowriter, Debrah, in Malibu, California. Together, they’ve written the libretto for a musical adaptation of Anne Rice’s Cry to Heaven, for Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. Visit him online at

About Meerkat Press: Meerkat Press is an Atlanta-based independent press committed to publishing irresistible, unforgettable prose and poetry. Their books range from literary to genre fiction with quality the common denominator. Visit them online at

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