Bluebird lands Cambridge Code guide to the subconscious

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We’re thrilled to share that Bluebird has acquired a guide to tapping into the subconscious by psychotherapist Dr Emma Loveridge and Dr Curly Moloney.

Publisher Carole Tonkinson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Cambridge Code: Unlocking your Subconscious Brain from David Godwin here at DGA. It will be published in March 2020.

The Cambridge Code is an online tool developed by Dr Loveridge and Dr Moloney, along with a team of researchers at Cambridge University. The synopsis states: “Founded on neuroscientific principles and clinically tested methodology, it represents a unique way of unlocking information about the subconscious mind, defining the underlying drivers and instincts that control our behaviour and make us who we are.”

The book explains the workings of the code, its development and scientific basis, explaining how the 30-minute questionnaire is used to decipher the reader’s deepest thoughts and individual personality characteristics, providing insights on romantic relationships, careers, friendships and family.

Tonkinson said: “In the course of my career in publishing and my work on a Master’s Degree in psychology, I’ve come across lots of personality-based tests like Meyers-Briggs, but I was absolutely blown away by the depth of insight offered by The Cambridge Code. It highlighted absolutely core behaviours in all of us on the team. It is a game-changer and we are thrilled to be making this powerful work available to one and all: people who want to address career and personal goals, parents, teachers. Absolutely everyone can benefit from deeper self-knowledge and this is the most reliable and expedient delivery method I have ever seen.”

The writers added: “We are very excited that Carole and her Bluebird team are collaborating with us to enable The Cambridge Code to reach you - the parent, the colleague, the partner - with the first ever glimpse into your own subconscious world. We have thoroughly enjoyed introducing scientific rigour to the world of well-being and self-discovery.”

Sarah Ward set to be published by Trapeze

We’re really excited to share that Trapeze has acquired historical mystery The Quickening by Sarah Ward, writing under a pseudonym, in a two-book deal.

Commissioning editor Katie Brown bought world all languages from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. Written by crime writer Ward under the pen-name Rhiannon Ward, the first book will be published by Trapeze in hardback, e-book and audio in February 2020.

The novel’s protagonist is Louisa Drew, based on the celebrated Christina Broom, a pioneer of women’s press photography in the Edwardian era.

Its synopsis states: “Louisa Drew lost her husband in the First World War and her six-year-old twin sons in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Newly re-married to a war-traumatised husband and seven months pregnant, Louisa is asked by her employer to travel to Clewer Hall in Sussex where she is to photograph the contents of the house for auction.

“She learns Clewer Hall was host to an infamous séance in 1896, and that the lady of the house has asked those who gathered almost thirty years ago to come together once more to recreate the evening. When a mysterious child appears on the grounds, she finds herself compelled to investigate and becomes embroiled in the strange happenings of the house. Gradually, she unravels the long-held secrets of the inhabitants and what really happened thirty years before… and discovers her own fate is entwined with Clewer Hall’s.”

Brown said: “Rhiannon is a tremendously talented writer, and when she told me about this incredible true story of a house with leather walls, an infamous séance, and an unsolved murder, I was hooked. What really drew me in however, is how she has weaved together two different periods – one known for the burgeoning interest in spiritualism, and the other for the suffragette movement – and delivered a historical novel that is keenly relevant today. I can’t wait to welcome readers to Clewer Hall, and unlock its secrets alongside our unforgettable heroine, Louisa.”

Ward said: “I’m delighted to be joining Trapeze with its reputation for dynamism and innovation in publishing. When I met Katie Brown I was bowled over by her energy and enthusiasm and I’m delighted that The Quickening has found the perfect home.”

Happy Publication day to Harriet Shawcross

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We’d like to wish a very happy publication day to Harriet Shawcross, whose debut non-fiction book, Unspeakable is out today from Canongate.

As a teenager, Harriet stopped speaking at school for almost a year, retreating into herself and communicating only when absolutely necessary. As an adult, she became fascinated by the limits of language and in Unspeakable she asks what makes us silent.

From the inexpressible trauma of trench warfare and the aftermath of natural disaster to the taboo of coming out, Shawcross explores how and why words fail us. From the mountains of Nepal to New York's theatre district she travels the world meeting people who constantly wrestle with language. She studies the work of George Oppen, a poet who couldn't write a line for twenty-five years, interviews Eve Ensler whose play The Vagina Monologues gave voice to the truths of female sexuality, and meets the founders of The Samaritans who have been listening silently to those in need since the 1950s.

A beguiling mix of memoir, history, literary criticism and investigative journalism, Unspeakable is a moving and unprecedented study of the power of silence.

Congratulations Harriet!

Preti Taneja's We That Are Young Optioned by Dina Dattani

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We’re really excited to share that French studio Gaumont (“Narcos”) is collaborating with Indian producer Dina Dattani (“The Ashram”) on a series adaptation of Preti Taneja’s debut novel We That Are Young.

A re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s King Lear set in contemporary India, the novel follows the tumultuous lives of the aging patriarch of a business empire, his three daughters and their vassals. The novel made it to several ‘book of the year’ lists and won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott prize for new fiction in 2018.

We That Are Young is a work of epic scope and depth, providing a deep insight into today’s India, and the clash of tradition with modernization, as well as nuanced sexual politics,” said Gene Stein, president of television for Gaumont U.S. “We intend to shoot this series on location in India with the highest degree of authenticity while creating an elevated dramatic storyline with true global appeal.”

Dattani acquired the television rights to the book when it was published. “Preti Taneja’s King Lear story works remarkably well with a critical look at the balance of power in contemporary India through its three female protagonists in charge of a powerful dynasty in a patriarchal society,” said Dattani.

Formerly a U.K.-based lawyer, and also head of business and legal affairs at Fox in India, Dattani also has in development two more as-yet-untitled series, and two India-set independent features. She also holds feature adaptation rights to We That Are Young.

Happy Publication day to Samantha Shannon

We’d like to wish a very happy publication day to Samantha Shannon - her standalone, epic high fantasy novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree is out today in all good bookshops from Bloomsbury Books. The novel has already brought in some spectacular reviews.

'The new Game of ThronesStylist

'Puts Samantha Shannon in the same league as Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin. Shannon is a master of dragons' Starburst


'Epic fantasy with added dragons. A blockbuster' Guardian, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 

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An enthralling, epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons - and the women who must lead the fight to save it.

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. 

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

“A tour de force, and my new absolute favourite epic fantasy” –  Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer

“I have been waiting my whole life for this fantasy. It's the kind of book you never want to end. Utterly unique, wild, and rich. Sheer perfection” –  Lisa Lueddecke, author of A Storm of Ice and Stars

“The new Game of Thrones. Escapism at its finest – Shannon, we salute you” –  Stylist.co.uk

“Allow me to introduce your newest fantasy obsession … Remarkably fresh and frankly fearless … Works so well as an intricately realised and feminist fantasy that one might even be tempted to dub Samantha Shannon 'The female George R.R. Martin' … As with the best of fantasy, The Priory of the Orange Tree feels less like a book than it does an experience, a true sojourn into a rich and terrible new world” –  Hypable

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a brilliant, daring, and devastating jewel. Samantha Shannon has crafted an incredible world full of depth and danger, with characters I would follow to the ends of the earth. It was a privilege to read, and I'm in awe of her talent. I can't wait for the rest of the world to experience this book” –  Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series

“An entirely fresh and addicting tale … A celebration of fantasy that melds modern ideology with classic tropes. More of these dragons, please” –  Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A masterpiece of intricate world-building with the depth, complexity, heart and soul of a timelessly relevant classic. Brilliant, diverse, feminist, subversive, thought-provoking and masterfully told, The Priory of the Orange Tree is epic fantasy at its finest. The scope of the book is staggering, as is Shannon's deft command of language ... An absolute must-read” –  Karen Marie Moning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Highlander and Fever series

“Nothing short of extraordinary. An audacious, ambitious, sprawling epic, set across a world like no other, The Priory of the Orange Tree takes everything you think you know about high fantasy, rips it apart and remakes it ... Nothing short of game-changing ... An absolute masterclass in story telling, from one of the most exciting and innovative fantasy writers alive today. With it, Samantha Shannon has set the bar stratospherically high. This is the book of 2019” –  Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin-Eater's Daughter

The Priory of the Orange Tree feels like a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings- something I don't say lightly. Epic and awe-inspiring in its scope, its rich, diverse world captivated me. I loved each complex narrator, all wonderfully human heroes and anti-heroes, and adored sinking into the world Samantha Shannon has created with such heart and beauty. This deserves to be as big as Game of Thrones ... An expertly woven saga that feels very relevant for the contemporary world we live in” –  Laure Eve, author of The Graces

“An epic fantasy destined to be a classic. A world crafted with such intricacy and detail, I had to remind myself it was not a real place. The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of those rare novels that captures your imagination so completely you will read it over and over, until the cover cracks and the spine breaks” –  Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable

“Move over, Tolkien – you had a good run, but it's high time fantasy had a Queen” –  Holly Roberts, bookseller

“There is no doubt that Samantha is the real thing … A born storyteller” –  Observer

“Shannon's brilliance is that she is not afraid of change, both for her characters and her setting … A name to watch” –  Independent

“Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league boots” –  Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black

“An astonishing achievement. The roots of Shannon's world lie in real history, but its branches stretch far into the imagination. Many authors can paint different names onto familiar concepts; Shannon goes further, building new religions and histories and conflicts, with all the rich detail necessary to bring them to life” –  Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

The Priory of the Orange Tree is the Platonic Ideal of a fantasy novel. A rich and stirringtale of magic and queens, swords and dragons, assassins and sorcerers, it is thronged with women: strong women and queer women, gorgeous women and powerful women, brilliant women and dangerous women. Men, too, of course. This story of good and evil, struggle and triumph, love and loss and return is beautifully written: complex but clear, and utterly immersive. I loved this book” –  Nicola Griffith, author of Hild

“Shannon satisfyingly fills this massive standalone epic fantasy with court intrigue, travel through dangerous lands, fantastical religions, blood, love, and rhetoric” –  Publishers Weekly

Make sure you pick up a copy today.

Very many congratulations, Samantha, from all of us here at DGA.

Tom Ellen's adult book snapped up for HQ

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We’re delighted to reveal that HQ has acquired “an epically romantic love story” by YA author Tom Ellen which will be one of its lead title for London Book Fair next month.

Senior commissioning editor at the HarperCollins imprint Emily Kitchin bought world all language rights for the book and one other novel from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. All About Us will be a lead title for HQ at this year’s LBF, HQ said. It will be published as a lead title in paperback and e-book in autumn 2020.

Ellen has written various YA books previously with co-author Lucy Ivison including Lobsters, Never Evers and Freshers (all published by Chicken House) but this will be his first adult novel.

All About Us follows Ben, who at 34 is facing a life crisis. His marriage to Daphne is on the rocks, his career is circling the drain and he’s still grieving the unexpected death of his mum, HQ said.

“Ben’s on the verge of throwing it all away when the discovery of a box of keepsakes on Christmas Eve sends him on an unexpected journey," the synopsis reads. "Ben falls asleep and wakes up in December 2005, on the day that he and Daphne first met. As Ben travels through his Christmases past, present and future – each one connected to a keepsake – he is offered the chance to reflect on the decisions he’s taken and not taken throughout his life. But will Ben do things differently this time around? And if he does, what will his future look like?”

HQ described the book as an “epically romantic story which touches on life-affirming themes of grief, love, loneliness and self-acceptance – and shows us that sometimes, the love we’ve been looking for has been right in front of us all along”. It is an anyone who loved Josie Silver’s One Day (Penguin) or Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare (Quercus).

Ellen is also a journalist and has written for ShortList, Time Out, Vice, talkSPORT, ESPN and Viz.

Kitchin said: “I am so thrilled to have acquired this wonderful novel from Tom Ellen, whose writing I’ve admired for years. Everyone at HQ has fallen completely in love with All About Us, and we knew right away that we just had to acquire it. We’ve all been swept away by Ben and Daphne’s story, and we can’t wait to introduce them to readers. Tom is an incredibly talented author and we have big plans in store for him.”

Ellen said: ‘I'm so excited to be joining HQ's ranks – it really feels like the perfect home for All About Us. Working with Emily has been absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait for people to read Ben and Daphne's story.”

Congratulations Tom!

Canongate acquires new title from Tracey Thorn

We’re excited to share that Canongate has acquired a second book from singer and author Tracey Thorn, My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend, about "rock ‘n’ roll love affairs" and female friendship.

Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired world rights, including audio to the book from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. It will be published in hardback in April 2021 and follows Another Planet, which Canongate published earlier this month.

In My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend, Thorn explores her relationship with Lindy Morrison, drummer with The Go-Betweens "and for a few formative years in the 1980s, Thorn's best friend," according to Canongate.

My Rock ‘n’ Roll Friend will be a tale of 1970s activism and agit-prop theatre, lesbian punk bands and police-state cities, rock ‘n’ roll love affairs, the quest for stardom, female friendship and feminism, sex and drugs, Australia and London,” Canongate said. “Crucially, it will look at how the stories of women in music are told and who tells them.”

Thorn is a singer-songwriter and writer, best known for her 17 years in bestselling duo Everything But The Girl. She is based in London and writes a column for the New Statesman and has previously published Bedsit Disco Queen and Naked at the Albert Hall (Virago).

She said: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to write this story, and to be working again with Canongate who have been so incredibly supportive during the creation and completion of Another Planet.

Bickmore said: “On the back of Tracey Thorn’s current bestselling hardback, we are understandably excited to be announcing a new Thorn book for 2021. Her next book idea will explore the trajectories of two artists in motion. It promises to be a brilliant development on her already significant body of prose work, exploring ideas of place, music, art, history, culture and prejudice, through a personal lens.”

Happy Publication day to Tracey Thorn

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Wishing Tracey Thorn a very happy publication day. Her third non-fiction book, Another Planet is out now from Canongate.

In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving.

Before she became an acclaimed musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties, Meaningful Conversations and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living.

Returning more than three decades later to Brookmans Park, scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters and pub car parks, the utopian cul-de-sacs, the train to Potters Bar and the weekly discos, to the parents who wanted so much for their children, the children who wanted none of it. With endearing wit and great insight, Thorn reconsiders the Green Belt post-war dream so many artists have mocked, and yet so many artists have come from.

“A beautiful writer … Exceptional … Made me catch my breath … Her language is straightforward, chatty, easy-to-read. Musical. Though Thorn tells us sharp truths, we gobble them up because she delivers them in such a deceptively pretty, poignant way”
MIRANDA SAWYER
Financial Times

“When Thorn digs into her adolescence, the book sparks with wit and poignancy, helped by extracts from her teenage diaries that she smartly exploits for comedy and bathos”
The Times

“I adored this. Wise, tender, beautifully observed, deadly funny. A Green Belt memoir classic”
MAX PORTER

“Readers of Thorn’s two previous memoirs will recognise the tone of this book, with its beautifully clean style, careful self-questioning and pervasive likability”
Guardian

“What a wise and funny book. Nostalgic but unsentimental, Thorn beautifully captures the aspirations, ennui and angst of suburban teenage life. I loved it”
DAVID NICHOLLS

Happy Publication day, Julia Shaw

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We’re so excited to wish Julia Shaw a very happy publication day. Her second work of non-fiction is out now from Canongate.

Julia’s book explores how to understand the deviance that lies in ourselves and others – it’s an original and rigorous exploration of the darkest recesses of the human mind.

Are you evil?

Making Evil is a smart and highly readable exploration of why we think and do bad things.

Dr Julia Shaw shows us that the same dispositions that make us capable of heinous crimes may also work to our advantage. And, if evil is within all of us, should it be said to exist at all?

In Making Evil, Shaw uses a compelling mix of science, popular culture and real life examples to break down timely and important issues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can A.I. be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist?

This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

“Julia Shaw has crafted a brilliant panorama that elucidates humanity’s dark side in her masterpiece, Making Evil. This science-based foundation for studying the minds of sadists, mass murderers, freaks and creeps, as well the new role of tech in promoting evil is presented in a totally engaging fashion”
PHILIP ZIMBARDO, AUTHOR OF THE LUCIFER EFFECT

“Curious readers will be riveted by Shaw’s deliberate, rational discussions of such taboos as cyberbullying, homicide, pedophilia and the ways money and power corrupt the souls of formerly good men and women … Capably written with a smooth mix of scientific insight and theoretical thought, the book will hopefully inspire empathy and understanding rather than hysteria and condemnation … A consistently fascinating journey into the darker sides of the human condition that will push on the boundaries of readers’ comfort zones”
Kirkus

“Shaw presents a stimulating and provocative challenge to the traditional meaning of evil. Stimulating and provocative”
Library Journal

“A sober-minded, academically rigorous examination of an oft-sensationalised subject”
Publishers Weekly

“Great read. Buy this book”
TIM LOVEJOY

Click here for a list of upcoming events.

Happy publication day, Julia!

Happy Publication day to Monisha Rajesh

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Wishing a very happy publication day to Monisha Rajesh, whose book, Around the World in 80 Trains is out today from Bloomsbury.

When Monisha announced plans to circumnavigate the globe in eighty train journeys, she was met with wide-eyed disbelief. But it wasn't long before she was carefully plotting a route that would cover 45,000 miles – almost twice the circumference of the earth – coasting along the world's most remarkable railways; from the cloud-skimming heights of Tibet's Qinghai railway to silk-sheeted splendour on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. 

Packing up her rucksack – and her fiancé, Jem – Monisha embarks on an unforgettable adventure that will take her from London's St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. The ensuing journey is one of constant movement and mayhem, as the pair strike up friendships and swap stories with the hilarious, irksome and ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth's most breathtaking views. 

From the author of Around India in 80 Trains comes another witty and irreverent look at the world and a celebration of the glory of train travel. Rajesh offers a wonderfully vivid account of life, history and culture in a book that will make you laugh out loud – and reflect on what it means to be a global citizen – as you whirl around the world in its pages.

“What makes the book is [Rajesh's] wit, astute observations and willingness to try everything ... She arrived at St Pancras, on time, tired and triumphant. Her riveting account of the odyssey leaves us feeling the same” –  The Times

“Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. Never too fast, never too slow, her journey does what trains do best. Getting to the heart of things. Prepare for a very fine ride” –  Michael Palin,

This is travel-writing entirely at home in the 21st century, penned by a travel writer entirely comfortable in her own skin, and unashamedly enthused by the thrill of setting out to meet new people and to see new places” –  Asian Review of Books

Debut novel from Ashley Hickson-Lovence to be published by Own It!

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We’re so excited to share that the debut novel from Ashley Hickson-Lovence, The 392 has been acquired by Crystal Mahey-Morgan at OWN IT!, in a deal negotiated with Philippa Sitters here at DGA.

Set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes, the events of The 392 unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds, but tied together through a shared suspicion as the threat of terrorism looms. On the 392 are all the familiar faces you might expect to see on any bus ride through inner-city London in the grips of gentrification: delinquent schoolkids, the high-flyers, the weird, the wonderful and the homeless. The 392 is primarily about uncovering the passengers’ hidden stories; agendas and ambitions. Switching between the different perspectives - told using first person – powerfully places the reader in the shoes of each character as they observe and make their way to work, school or court. The 392 is a journey through gentrified London and the experiences and feelings that gentrification creates along the way, but ultimately, it’s the story of people, places and perceptions. The roads are real; the locations mentioned are actual local landmarks and the position of bus stops are based on the real route giving the world of the fictional The 392 a brilliantly authentic feel.

27-year-old Ashley Hickson-Lovence is a former secondary school English teacher who grew up on a Hackney council estate and now lives in Norwich while he completes a Creative and Critical Writing PhD at the University of East Anglia. Hickson is also a poet, football referee and a keen marathon runner.

Philippa Sitters at DGA says, “Writing like Ashley’s doesn’t come around very often; an arresting, contemporary voice that shows no end of versatility. The range and empathy he shows writing as such an eclectic crowd of passengers is remarkable. OWN IT! are the perfect match for this innovative novel.” 

Crystal Mahey-Morgan says, ‘Ashley is a rare and exciting voice with a dept skill for observation, a natural flair with words and the ability to create authentic worlds and characters. As well as an exciting new literary fiction author, Ashley offers an important contribution to the literary landscape and is the kind of unique talent that will delight readers, and that the industry is so keen to find. We’re hugely excited that Ashley joins our growing list of debut British authors and to be publishing The 392’.

OWN IT! will publish The 392 in April 2019

Happy Publication day to Charlotte Runcie

Wishing a very happy publication day to Charlotte Runcie, whose debut non-fiction title, Salt on Your Tongue - Women and the Sea, is published today by Canongate.

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Charlotte has always felt pulled to the sea, lured by its soothing, calming qualities but also enlivened and inspired by its salty wildness. When she loses her beloved grandmother, and becomes pregnant with her first child, she feels its pull even more intensely.

In Salt On Your Tongue Charlotte explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It’s an ode to our oceans – to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beach combers, swimmers, seabirds and mermaids.

In mesmerising prose, Charlotte Runcie shows how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.

Charlotte Runcie is the Daily Telegraph’s radio columnist and arts writer. For several years she lived and worked in Edinburgh, where she ran a folk music choir, and she now lives in the Scottish Borders. She has a secret past as a poet, having been a Foyle Young Poet of the Year with a pamphlet published by tall-lighthouse.

“A very beautiful book about myth and motherhood – a memoir that intertwines effortlessly and poetically with tales of the sea. Salt On Your Tongue has a rare magic to it”
Sophie Mackintosh, Booker-longlisted author of THE WATER CURE

“A wise and wonderful book, charting intensely personal moments against the constant yet ever-changing sea. A story of birth, loss, memory and motherhood, spliced with vivid observations of the natural world and collected myth, lore and legend, Charlotte Runcie’s voice is by turns practical and poetic, objective and beguiling. An utterly immersive read”
Jess Kidd, author of HIMSELF AND THE HOARDER

Get hold of a copy today!

Paul Kildea's CHOPIN'S PIANO optioned by Sovereign Films

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Sovereign Films have optioned film rights in Paul Kildea’s Chopin’s Piano: A Journey Through Romanticism (Allen Lane, Penguin 2018). The film will feature music from the Grammy award-winning, Daniil Trifonoc, who has been hailed as “the most astounding young pianist of our age.” Performing the work of Frederic Chopin on many of the same piano’s used during his 1848 concert tour of Britain.

Speaking to the Guardian, producer, Donald Rosenfeld said, “Other Chopin films have played his music on contemporary pianos, which sound different. Like all my movies, we’re trying to recreate history and bring you back in time.” Rosenfeld is the producer behind Emma Thompson’s Howard’s End and said that Chopin’s Piano “had inspired a “dream project” about a musical genius, more than 30 years after Miloš Forman’s Amadeus, a film about the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri that won eight Oscars.”

Paul Kildea’s brilliant book is available in all good book shops and here to buy now.

Uplit debut Oona Out of Order to publish with Gollancz

Rachel Winterbottom, Commissioning Editor at Gollancz, has pre-empted UK & Commonwealth rights (ex. Canada) for Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore from Macmillan US, publishing spring 2020 in hardback, ebook and audio.

Oona Out of Order is an optimistic, uplifting book-club fiction debut that teaches us about living life in the moment while celebrating family, relationships and life, and exploring love in all its many facets.

What would you do if you woke up thirty years older than you were yesterday?

Brooklyn, 1982. Oona Lockhart and her boyfriend are about to ring in the New Year and Oona’s 19th birthday. But seconds after the New Year begins, Oona is torn from her life and everyone she loves, finding herself in her fifty-one year old body thirty-three years into the future. The life she had is gone, and all she has is a letter from herself from the previous year to guide her.

Each year on the stroke of midnight she finds herself resurfacing in a different year of her own adulthood. Still a young woman on the inside, but ever changing on the outside, who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club kid? World traveller? Wife to a man she’s never met?

Oona Out of Order is an uplifting joyride through an ever-changing world that shows us what it means to accept your fate and live in the moment.

Rachel Winterbottom said: ‘I was completely drawn in by the sharpness of Margarita’s prose, biting dialogue and the vividness of every scene. With its absolutely brilliant premise, Oona Out of Order explores the notion of giving yourself to every life experience no matter what the outcome. Like The Time Traveler’s Wife and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it achieves that perfect balance of being both life-affirming and heart-breaking. I cannot wait for everyone to meet Oona and read this beautifully clever book.’

Margarita Montimore said: ‘I've always been fascinated by stories involving time travel, so I decided to write one of my own, putting a different spin on it. When I came up with the concept of a young woman living her life out of order, I thought it could be interesting way to explore identity, family, romantic relationships, and the various ways the passage of time affects us. Oona Out of Order was an utter joy to write and, along the way, taught me a thing or two about living in the moment. I’m thrilled to be working with Gollancz to bring the book to readers in the UK.’

James Melia bought the book at auction from Lisette Verhagen here at DGA on behalf of agent, Philippa Sitters, who said: ‘Oona Out of Order is a classic in the making. Margarita has written a book of such complexity and wit, it’s a sheer joy to read and I can’t wait to see Gollancz publish it here.’

James Melia said: ‘I knew from the first pages that Oona Out of Order would be something unique, but as I read the final lines of Margarita Montimore's wondrous debut, it was as clear as day that I had in my hands a book of such original vision, and enormous heart. I’m so glad Gollancz will be publishing this fantastic novel in the UK.’

Margarita Montimore has a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She has blogged for Marvel, Google, Quirk Books, and XOJane.com. When not writing, she freelances as a book coach and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn but currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and their dog.

Amitava Kumar's IMMIGRANT, MONTANA among The New Yorker Best of 2018

The New Yorker’s Katy Waldman says that her books of 2018 represent “an energizing alternative to the ripped-apart illogic of our contemporary reality.” Among them is Amitava Kumar’s Immigrant, Montana, which is published by Knopf in the US, and Faber & Faber in the UK.

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The novel follows the story of Indian Immigrant, Kailash who arrives at a graduate school in New York, 1990. Part novel, part memoir the writing has also been praised by Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Refugees and The Sympathiser as ‘a beguiling meditation on memory and migration, sex and politics, ideas and art, and race and ambiguity’ and the book is featured in Vanity Fair’s This Season’s Ultimate fiction list.

Waldman says, “This is a discovery of country through the discovery of that country’s women. But Kumar’s “nonfiction novel,” about an Indian student who comes to the United States to study literature, is tentative, funny, and self-critical—it inverts and skewers the colonial narrative. Kailash meets Jennifer at his university bookstore and Nina in his film class, and, with his older self narrating each initial intoxication, the novel emulates the digressive turnings of W. G. Sebald or Teju Cole, adding a gentle heat that is all its own.”

Amitava Kumar works as a journalist and has written several works of prize-winning literary non-fiction.

DGA Authors among Best of 2018

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We’re really pleased to have spotted four of our authors within the Guardian’s best books of 2018 list!

Nancy Campbell’s Library of Ice was given mention within Patrick Barkham’s run down of the best nature books alongside Isabella Tree’s Wilding.

“Messages of hope can be platitudinous without practical action and it takes a farmer to provide 2018’s best story of action and hope. In Wilding (Picador), Isabella Tree, a travel writer and farmer by marriage to Charlie Burrell, tells the 30-year tale of their failing farm and its almost accidental rewilding. Tree is not personal enough for some critics (nature writers can’t win!) but gives us challenging ecology, ecstatic moments (the sound of thousands of butterfly wings) and, best of all, an emphatic real example of how the British countryside can be enriched beyond all our expectations.”

The 12+ category detailed the brilliant Flying Tips for Flightless Birds.

“A tender, hilarious romance, Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain (Walker) is filled with fantastical yet real-feeling joy. Circus kids Birdie and Finch are twins, trapeze partners and – at school, at least – complete social outcasts. When a new boy arrives, even geekier and more eccentric than Finch, an unlikely friendship blooms. But can Franconi’s circus school survive after Birdie is brought down by an accident – and can Finch bring himself to trust Hector’s affection?”

The Ideas & Science category was full to the rafters but special mention was made of Suzanne O’Sullivan’s newest work of non-fiction.

“The genre of bittersweet anecdotes about people with brain disorders, perhaps invented by Oliver Sacks, is now well populated, but the brilliant Brainstorm (Chatto), by Suzanne O’Sullivan, is a premium addition. O’Sullivan is a specialist in epilepsy, and describes its history and highly various signs. Lewis Carroll, O’Sullivan fascinatingly suggests, might have had epilepsy, which is often associated with visual illusions when perspective looks wrong or things look larger or smaller than they really are. (Hence the name one of her patients gives such experiences: her “Alice in Wonderland moments”.)”

Salt set to publish a memoir by Ursula Owen

We’re really pleased to share that Salt will publish Ursula Owen's “deeply engaging” memoir Single Journey Only

Christopher Hamilton-Emery, director of Salt, acquired world rights in English, from David Godwin, with publication slated for next September.

Salt described Single Journey Only as “deeply engaging” while Hamilton-Emery paid tribute to Owen’s honesty in the memoir.

"Ursula is hugely well-known, loved and respected, and I am utterly delighted to be publishing this frank and rewarding account of such an wide-ranging life,” he said. "The achievements are, frankly, astonishing, yet in this delightful and feisty memoir we see the glorious messiness of life, too. And something else beside, a tenacious commitment to enlightenment ideals, something we need to be constantly reminded of."

Owen has been involved in literature and freedom of expression since the 1970s. She became a founder director of Virago in 1974, later becoming editorial director and m.d. of the British publishing company committed to women’s writing and books on feminist topics. She led the business as it "developed an international reputation, working with a committed team, rediscovering and repositioning women novelists and, over two decades, transforming both the literary canon and the contemporary publishing world,” Salt said.

Amitava Kumar's, IMMIGRANT, MONTANA one of the New York Times' Most Notable

We’re delighted to see that Amitava Kumar’s Immigrant, Montana appears on The New York Times’ list of 100 Notable Books of 2018, stating that;

Kumar’s novel of a young Indian immigrant who recounts his loves lost and won as a college student in the early 1990s has the feeling of thinly veiled memoir. It’s a deeply honest look at a budding intellectual’s new experience of America, filled with both alienation and an aching desire to connect.

Published in the UK by Faber & Faber and under a different title, The Lovers in India, Knopf released the title in the US.

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One winter morning, a monkey stole into Mamaji’s room. He climbed on the huge white bed and finding Mamaji’s pistol brandished it — they say — at my cousin, born two months after me and still in her crib. No one moved. Then, turning the pistol around, the primate brain prompting the opposable thumb to grasp the trigger, the monkey blew his brains out.

Meet Kailash. AKA Kalashnikov. Or AK-47. Or just plain AK. His journey from India has taken him to graduate school in New York where he keeps falling in love: not only with women - Jennifer, Nina, Cai Yan - but with literature and radical politics, the fuel of youthful exuberance. Each heady affair brings new learning: about himself, about America, and his relationship to a country founded on immigration, but a country that is now unsure of the migrant's place in the nation's fabric. How do you educate yourself in belonging when you are in a constant state of exile?

Immigrant, Montana is the story of AK's sentimental education. His intellectual, emotional, and romantic journey gives the book a new narrative form, one that thrillingly reinvents the campus and postcolonial novel through wry, comic intelligence. A sharp cultural satire for a generation losing an ideological sense of itself, Immigrant, Montana is erotic and tender, provocative and playful - a meditation on courage and endeavour, and what it takes to truly be heroic.

Get hold of a copy here!

Julia Shaw's MAKING EVIL sold to 10 territories

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We are thrilled to announce that Julia Shaw’s Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side has now been sold to 10 territories.

The book, already published in Germany by Hanser last September, entered the Spiegel Bestseller Chart and sold over 13,000 copies within only a few weeks. Canongate will publish in February at the same time as Abrams in the US.

Kirkus published an early review as follows:

‘Shaw’s intellectual scrutiny is bolstered by statistical data, experiments, and academic research studies from neuroscientists, who underscore the true scientific nature of wrongdoing and wickedness through the human experience. Capably written with a smooth mix of scientific insight and theoretical thought, the book will hopefully inspire empathy and understanding rather than hysteria and condemnation. A consistently fascinating journey into the darker sides of the human condition that will push on the boundaries of readers’ comfort zones.’

Making Evil is about the attraction of evil. What is it about evil that we find so compelling? From our obsession with serial killers to violence in pop culture, we seem inescapably drawn to the stories of monstrous acts and the aberrant people who commit them. But evil, Dr. Julia Shaw argues, is all relative, rooted in our unique cultures. What one may consider normal, like sex before marriage, eating meat, or being a banker, others find abhorrent. And if evil is only in the eye of the beholder, can it be said to exist at all? In Evil, Shaw uses case studies from academia, examples from and popular culture, and anecdotes from everyday life to break down complex information and concepts like the neuroscience of evil, the psychology of bloodlust, and workplace misbehavior. This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

Publishers so far are:  Canongate (UK) , Abrams (US), Doubleday (Canada), Beijing Wisdom & Culture (China), Carl Hanser (Germany), Prometheus (Holland),  Kodansha (Japan), Heyonamsa (Korea), Planeta (Spain) and Cite Publishing (Taiwan).