Ambreen Razia's Diary of a Hounslow Girl adapted for BBC Three Pilot

Very exciting news has been announced this week. Ambreen Razia's one woman play, Diary of a Hounslow Girl is set to be adapted into a pilot episode for BBC Three, as a part of their Comedy Slice platform.

Now in their sixth year, the Comedy Slices are the vital place to develop the next generation of British on and off screen comedy talent. Today three brand new BBC Three pilots from three female rising stars have been announced, which includes Diary of a Hounslow Girl written by and starring Ambreen Razia, which has been commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning and Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three.

Shaheeda, Tash and Leonie are three West London college students with big dreams, big attitudes, and big plans. From fights on the night bus to yet another ‘family’ wedding, mosque class to fake IDs, new hijab swags to cooking up schemes on Hounslow High Street, these girls are determined to have the best time - fun first, consequences second. Bouncing between being good, modern Muslim girls and living their best lives, they are three smart, young, Asian women in a bold, provocative, new comedy.

Diary of a Hounslow Girl is written by and stars Ambreen Razia (BBC Talent Hotlist 2017), inspired by her smash hit play, and is produced by CPL Productions Ltd and is script edited by Holly Walsh, produced by Charlie Coombes and executive produced by Arabella McGuigan & Danielle Lux for CPL Productions. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody.

Watch Ambreen discuss her journey on BUILD Series LDN, here. 

Omar Robert Hamilton Shortlisted for Betty Trask Prize

PB cover.jpg

We're thrilled to share that Omar Robert Hamilton has been shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize, with his debut novel, The City Always Wins. The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35.

Judges Ben Brooks, Joanne Harris and Samantha Shannon said of the shortlist; "The Trask shortlist is always very strong, very original, and this year is no different - six books reflecting the excellent quality and diversity of new writers today." Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund is £26,250.

The prize will be awarded alongside winners of the McKitterick, Tom-Gallon and Somerset Maugham awards at The Authors’ Awards on Thursday 19th July, a unique night with all the awards judged by authors for authors. 

Omar Robert Hamilton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. He has written for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, Mada Masr and Guernica. He is a co-founder of the Palestine Festival of Literature and the Mosireen media collective in Cairo., where he lives.

The City Always Wins takes place on the streets of Cairo, where a violent uprising is transforming the course of modern history. Mariam and Khalil, two young activists, are swept up in the political fervour. Their lives will never be the same again.

Brave, visceral, and electric with tension, his debut novel uniquely captures the feverish intensity of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. From the euphoria of mass protests to the chilling silence of the morgue, The City Always Wins is the only novel that allows readers to pierce to the bloody heart of the uprising. Intensely lyrical, yet uncompromisingly political, Omar Robert Hamilton's writing is set to become the defining voice of a revolution that promised so much to so many.

Joanne Harris, Betty Trask judge says: "Tough, bleak and relentless, this is a challenging, thoughtprovoking, heart-wrenching and in many ways, necessary novel - we have all, after all, watched these events from the safety of our TV screens, but this glimpse into the reality of the events of 2011 is a wholly different, immersive – and ultimately rewarding - experience."

Congratulations Omar! Get hold of the book, here, today.

 

 

Wishing a happy paperback publication day to Arundhati Roy

Wishing a wonderful paperback publication day to Arundhati Roy. For those of you who are yet to get hold of a copy of her dazzling book, let us introduce it to you.

MINISTRY PB COVER.png

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on a journey of many years-the story spooling outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war, and where, from time to time, 'normalcy' is declared.

Anjum, who used to be Aftab, unrolls a threadbare carpet in a city graveyard that she calls home. A baby appears quite suddenly on a pavement, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. The enigmatic S. Tilottama is as much of a presence as she is an absence in the lives of the three men who loved her.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once an aching love story and a decisive remonstration. It is told in a whisper, in a shout, through tears and sometimes with a laugh. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, mended by love-and by hope. For this reason, they are as steely as they are fragile, and they never surrender. This ravishing, magnificent book reinvents what a novel can do and can be. And it demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.

Praise for The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017

THE SUNDAY TIMES #1 BESTSELLER and THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

'Magnificent - unlike anything I've read in years. An absolutely dazzling, original, and ultimately profound novel... A masterpiece. Very few writers can write with such intense and yet precise emotional intelligence. Arundhati Roy is properly special. We should be grateful to have her among us.'Mirza Waheed, author of The Book of Gold Leaves

'Roy's second novel proves as remarkable as her first' Financial Times

'A great tempest of a novel... which will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion' Washington Post

'A novel that demands and rewards the reader's concentration, this is a dazzling return to formIndependent

'This novel is a freedom song. Every page has the stamp of Roy's originality. Such brutality, such beauty' Amitva Kumar, the author of Immigrant, Montana

'Intricately layered and passionate, studded with jokes and with horrors... This is a work of extraordinary intricacy and grace' Prospect Magazine

'Gorgeous, supple, playful... Roy writes with astonishing vividness... Again and again beautiful images refresh our sense of the world' The New York Times Book Review

'A masterpiece. Roy joins Dickens, Naipaul, García Márquez, and Rushdie in her abiding compassion, storytelling magic, and piquant wit. An entrancing, imaginative, and wrenching epicBooklist starred review.

Happy Publication Day Clementine Beauvais

Today's the day, the beautiful In Paris With You is in all good book shops, now, published by Faber & Faber.

IN Paris With You.jpg

Because their story didn’t end at the right time, in the right place,
because they let their feelings go to waste,
it was written, I think, that Eugene and Tatiana
would find each other
ten years later,
one morning in winter,
under terra firma
on the Meteor, Line 14 (magenta) of the
Paris
metro.

Eugene and Tatiana could have fallen in love. If things had gone differently. But time has found them far apart, leading separate lives.

Until they meet once more in Paris...

Pick up this beautiful new book from the author of Piglettes, today. 

Happy Publication Day to Isabella Tree - Wilding is Out Today

WILDING front panel_high res cover.jpg

Wishing a very happy publication day to Isabella Tree. Her new work of non-fiction, Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm is available to buy (and devour) now from Picador. 

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp in West Sussex was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.

Once-common species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.

This recovery has taken place against a backdrop of catastrophic loss elsewhere. According to the 2016 ‘State of Nature’ report, the UK is ranked 29th in the world for biodiversity loss: 56% of species in the UK are in decline and 15% are threatened with extinction. We are living in a desert, compared with our gloriously wild past.

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’ and what it reveals of the ways in which we might regain that wilder, richer country. It shows how rewilding works across Europe; that it has multiple benefits for the land; that it can generate economic activity and employment; how it can benefit both nature and us – and that all of this can happen astonishingly quickly. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

To whet your appetite before picking up the book here, do have a read of this fabulous blog on the Waterstone's website, Human Nature: Isabella Tree on Five Ways to Rewild Yourself.

Happy Publication Day, Jennifer Killick

Wishing a very happy publication day to Jennifer Killick, whose second book in the Alex Sparrow series, Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury is published today by Firefly Press. The book is a follow up to the brilliant Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink, which was selected for the Summer Reading Challenge 2017 and longlisted for the Shrewsbury Big Book Award 2018.

Alex Sparrow 2.jpg

Catching the school's runaway guinea pigs is not giving Alex job satisfaction, but how can he find a bigger test for his and Jess's awkward superpowers? Jess is more worried about the bullied new boy, whose Mum runs the animal sanctuary. She volunteers at the sanctuary, but soon realises that something is very wrong; the animals are terrified. People report strange events: things missing, property destroyed, and the local squirrels have turned mean. The police have no suspects. It looks more and more like a job for Agent Alex...

You can pick up a copy of Jennifer's book, here!

Preti Taneja shortlisted for Desmond Elliott Prize

We are thrilled to share that Preti Taneja's debut novel, We That Are Young has been shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018. 

Of the book, the judges said, "We That Are Young by Preti Taneja, an ambitious retelling of King Lear which explores the play’s themes of severed relationships and warring families within the setting of modern-day India. The novel gains independent publisher Galley Beggar Press its second shortlisting for the Prize. The Norwich-based independent was previously shortlisted in 2014 with Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which went on to win the Prize. Sarah Perry said, “The scope of Taneja’s ambition is breath-taking. We That Are Young is both universal in its themes of familial duty and personal failing, and exquisitely specific in its depiction of contemporary Indian society.”

The Desmond Elliott Prize has a track record of spotting exceptionally talented novelists at the very beginning of their careers. Last year, the Prize was awarded to Francis Spufford for his debut novel, Golden Hill, and other past-winners include Lisa McInerney, Claire Fuller and Eimear McBride.

Chair of judges, Sarah Perry is joined on the panel by the award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Samira Ahmed, and head of fiction and publisher liaison for Waterstones, Chris White. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnum & Mason on 20thJune, where they will be presented with a cheque for £10,000.

Good luck Preti!

Grab a copy of her beautiful book here.

Fern Riddell's 'DEATH IN TEN MINUTES' Released Today

We're thrilled to share that Dr Fern Riddell's debut work of non-fiction is published today by Hodder. 

Kitty_Marion_Approved4 (002).jpg

Death In Ten Minutes tells the never before told story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion. Finding a hidden diary, Fern uses Kitty's own words to tell the story of her sensational life and explosive actions.

'Fierce, fresh and feminist, Fern Riddell tells the story of Suffragette Kitty Marion in a way that fizzes and shocks. Exciting, twisty and very very timely.' Lucy Worsley

'History with no dust.' Matt Haig

Kitty Marion was sent across the country by the Pankhurst family to carry out a nationwide campaign of bombings and arson attacks, as women fought for the vote using any means necessary. But in the aftermath of World War One, the dangerous and revolutionary actions of Kitty and other militant suffragettes were quickly hushed up and disowned by the previously proud movement, and the women who carried out these attacks were erased from our history. Now, for the first time, their untold story will be brought back to life.

Telling a new history of the women's movement in the light of new and often shocking revelations, this book will ask the question: Why has the life of this incredible woman, and the violence of the suffragettes been forgotten? And, one hundred years later, why are women suddenly finding themselves under threat again?

Dr Fern Riddell is a historian specialising in sex, suffrage and culture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She appears regularly on TV and radio, and writes for the GuardianHuffington PostTelegraph and Times Higher Education among others, and is a columnist for BBC History Magazine

Praise for Death in Ten Minutes

Passionate and brilliant, a compelling portrait of an extraordinary woman in extraordinary times. — Richard Osman

Fierce, fresh and feminist, Fern Riddell tells the story of Suffragette Kitty Marion in a way that fizzes and shocks. Exciting, twisty and very very timely. — Lucy Worsley

A compelling, passionate and timely account of a fierce and extraordinary woman. In 2018, Kitty Marion's story is required reading. — Helen Castor

A brilliant political biography of the dangerous, dramatic and uncompromisingly political life of an incredible woman. Viscerally written this book is a powerful reminder that women were not given the vote, they demanded it and took it by force as much as by persuasion. — David Olusoga

Fern has brought to life the drama and tension of suffragette attacks in early 20th century Britain. Never before have I thought of the noise, colour, sounds, smells and sensations of fighting for women's rights to the vote, sexual and legal freedoms. She creates a textured tapestry of bustling streets and a myriad of personalities, amidst which devastating bomb attacks are given a potency so often eroded from history books. The world needs more books like this - books that challenge where we are now, and the brave, dangerous, fascinating women who got us here. — Janina Ramirez

The tale this book tells is as explosive as its title. Riddell's vivid prose follows this unsung heroine in her fight for birth control and suffrage. — Independent

An exhilarating slice of incredibly relevant history. Highly recommended. — Matt Haig

Pick up a copy today!

Canongate set to Publish Charlotte Runcie's Debut, SALT ON YOUR TONGUE

Charlotte Runcie.png

We're so pleased to share news that Canongate has acquired Salt on your Tongue, the first book by Daily Telegraph poetry critic and arts writer, Charlotte Runcie. 

Publishing director Francis Bickmore and editor Jo Dingley acquired world rights, including audio, from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

In Salt on your Tongue Runcie explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. A mixture of memoir, social history, literary criticism, biography and nature writing, the 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 have braved their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beach trawlers, swimmers, sea birds and mermaids".

Runcie explores 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, this is a book about how the "wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human".

Runcie said: "I hope that Salt on Your Tongue will speak to everyone who has felt a sense of freedom and possibility on the sea air. Having always admired the incredible independence of spirit behind all of Canongate’s wonderful books, I’m thrilled to join their crew."

Bickmore said: “Salt on Your Tongue explores how all of us can find inspiration by the water. This is a book about art, stories, togetherness, and how nature helps us understand our place in the world.”

Canongate will publish the title in hardback in January 2019. Congratulations, Charlotte!

Grantchester to Return for Fourth Series

We're over the moon to share that Grantchester, starring James Norton and Robson Green, will return to ITV for a fourth series in a co-production from Kudos and MASTERPIECE on PBS.  

This series will feature James Norton’s final episodes as character Sidney Chambers, the charismatic, jazz-loving clergyman, and one half of the unlikely crime-fighting duo based in 1950s Grantchester. Casting of the new vicar arriving in the hamlet of Grantchester will be announced shortly.  

Along with Robson Green, who plays Detective Geordie Keating, returning members of Grantchester’s ensemble cast include Al Weaver, Tessa Peake-Jones and Kacey Ainsworth.

MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, at WGBH Boston, said:

“It’s a bittersweet time for Grantchester fans, who will be cheering the return of the series but crushed to say goodbye to James. We want to assure them that the series they love will continue with brilliant new episodes and a captivating new vicar.”

Kudos Executive Producer Diederick Santer said: “I’m ecstatic that - with Masterpiece and ITV - we are returning to Grantchester with all our favourite characters. While I’m sad that these will be James Norton’s final episodes, we will make sure he goes out with a bang. We’ve got exciting plans for where the show is heading and the vicarage won’t be vacant for long.”

MASTERPIECE and ITV have commissioned Grantchester’s fourth season, which begins production in June in London, Cambridge, and Grantchester.

Grantchester, Season 4 is a Co-Production of Kudos and MASTERPIECE for ITV and is distributed internationally by Endemol Shine International who have sold the show across 162 countries. The executive producers for Kudos are Diederick Santer, Emma Kingsman-Lloyd and Daisy Coulam. The executive producer for MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton at WGBH Boston. The series will be produced by Richard Cookson.  Director Tim Fywell is returning for the opening two episodes. Adapted from the Grantchester Mysteries novels by James Runcie, the series was developed for television by Daisy Coulam and written by Daisy Coulam and John Jackson. 

If you're keen to read the books behind the TV series, make sure you pick one (or several) up today, here!

Happy Publication Day to Aminatta Forna

A very happy publication day goes to Aminatta Forna, whose fantastic novel, Happiness is published today by Bloomsbury.

Happiness.jpg

A breathtaking novel from Orange Prize-shortlisted and Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning author Aminatta Forna

Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide. Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, and Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes. From this chance encounter in the midst of the rush of a great city, numerous moments of connections span out and interweave, bringing disparate lives together. 

Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma and to check up on the daughter of friends, his 'niece', Ama, who hasn't called home in a while. It soon emerges that she has been swept up in an immigration crackdown – and now her young son Tano is missing. 

When, by chance, Attila bumps into Jean again, she joins him in his search for Tano, mobilizing into action the network she has built up, mainly from the many West African immigrants working London's myriad streets, of volunteer fox-spotters: security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens. All unite to help and as the search continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.

In this delicate yet powerful novel of loves lost and new, of past griefs and of the hidden side of a teeming metropolis, Aminatta Forna asks us to consider the values of the society we live in, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures – and the true nature of happiness.

Reviews

“Forna's voice is relentlessly compelling, her ability to summon atmosphere extraordinary, her sympathetic portrayal of traffic wardens, street performers, security guards, hotel doormen a thing of lasting beauty. It is as if the author has privileged access into multiple spheres of existence, learning the secret languages of each, conferring dignity and consequence on these figures who often pass unseen and unrecorded in our accounts of contemporary life” –  Observer

“Forna is a risk-taker, a writer who doesn't hold back from tackling big themes … Happiness is one of a handful of contemporary novels that take both the human condition and the animal condition seriously. Entering Forna's sweeping universe transports you to a place that feels familiar, but also totally feral and full of surprises” –  Financial Times

“Aminatta Forna expertly weaves her characters' stories, past and present, in and out of the larger story of London, which becomes as rich a character as the human beings and, indeed, the foxes; and she makes us care deeply about them all, the foxes, the people and the city. A terrific novel” –  Salman Rushdie

“One of the best novels I've read in quite a while – intelligent, deep and poignant. It sheds smooth, unflinching light upon the unseen. Forna is at the top of her game” –  Rabih Alameddine, author of The Angel of History and An Unnecessary Woman

Both generous in spirit and thought-provoking” –  Mail on Sunday

“From the understated and inexorable pull of plot and emotion to the luxuriousnessof the details of varied ways of living and being to the tidal pull of language, Happiness is a great accomplishment” –  Viet Thanh Nguyen,

Powerfully affecting ” –  Alex Preston, 'The Best Fiction of 2018', Observer

“A deeply moving novel about love, trauma and the ties that bind us together. Beautifully written and ingeniously allegorical. Aminatta Forna is a writer of phenomenal talent, with a clear eye, a fearless voice, and an extraordinary range” –  Laila Lalami, author of The Moor's Account

 

Happy Publication Day to Suzanne O'Sullivan

Brainstorm1.jpg

Wishing a wonderful publication day to Dr Suzanne O'Sullivan whose book, Brainstorm: Detective Stories from the World of Neurology is released today by Chatto & Windus and follows up on her Wellcome Prize winning debut, It's All In Your Head: Stories from the Frontline of Psychosomatic Illness

Brainstorm examines the stories of people whose symptoms are so strange even their doctor struggles to know how to solve them. A man who sees cartoon characters running across the room; a teenager who one day arrives home with inexplicably torn clothes; a girl whose world turns all Alice in Wonderland; another who transforms into a ragdoll whenever she even thinks about moving. 

The brain is the most complex structure in the universe, and neurologists must puzzle out life-changing diagnoses from the tiniest of clues – it’s the ultimate in medical detective work. In this riveting book, one of the UK’s leading neurologists takes you with her as she follows the trail of her patients’ symptoms: feelings of déjà vu lead us to a damaged hippocampus; spitting and fidgeting to the right temporal lobe; fear of movement to a brain tumour; a missed heart beat to the limbic system.

It’s a journey that will open your eyes to the unfathomable intricacies of the brain, and the infinite variety of human capacity and experience.

Praise for It's All in Your Head 

‘As addictive as a great box set, makes you rethink some of your closest relationships and wonder about some of the people you know best; and above all, like all truly great books, it is about love and compassion’ Satnam Sanghera, The Times 

‘Remarkable… It should be on the reading list of every medical student’ P.D. Smith, Guardian

‘An extraordinary book... an important one too’ Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

‘Read this book’ British Medical Journal

Pick up a copy here!

Happy Publication Day to Marcus Sedgwick & Thomas Taylor

Scarlett Hart.jpg

A very happy publication day to Thomas Taylor and Marcus Sedgwick, whose graphic novel, Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter is published today!

Scarlett Hart, orphaned daughter of two legendary monster hunters, is determined to carry on in her parents’ goo-sodden footsteps—even if The Royal Academy for the Pursuit and Eradication of Zoological Eccentricities says she’s too young to fight perilous horrors. But whether it's creepy mummies or a horrid hound, Scarlett won’t back down, and with the help of her loyal butler and a lot of clever gadgets, she’s on the case.

With her parent’s arch-rival, Count Stankovic, ratting her out to T.R.A.P.E.Z.E. and taking all the monster-catching rewards for himself, it’s getting hard for Scarlett to do what she was born to do. And when more monsters start mysteriously manifesting than ever before, Scarlett knows she has to get to the bottom of it and save the city... whatever the danger!

For anyone who likes books about monsters, Marcus Sedgwick (winner of the Printz Award) teams up with Thomas Taylor (illustrator of the original edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) to create a rip-roaring romp full of hairy horrors, villainous villains: – introducing the world’s toughest monster hunter—Scarlett Hart!

Grab a copy here! 

Praise for Scarlett Hart

"The weapons, gadgets, catchphrases, and nondescript Victorian setting will appeal to fans of the steampunk genre, [Scarlett Hart] will likely appeal to comic fans as a bridge between Scooby-Doo! and Paul Pope's "Battling Boy.""--School Library Journal

"A cliff-hanger ending, along with a handful of secrets about Scarlett's parents left unexplained, hopefully means there's a sequel yet to come. This solid middle-grade caper is perfect for fans of Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller's Nightmares! series."--Booklist

"Monster hunt after monster hunt keeps the story whizzing along nicely, with plot developments and revelations sprinkled throughout in a rollicking manner. Rough and scrappy, Taylor's illustrations convey ghoulish cool with subtle aplomb..."--Kirkus

"Sedgwick and Taylor's story unfolds in lively action sequences, and the banter between Scarlett and Napoleon provides humorous interludes."--Publishers Weekly

Walker Books to publish Thomas Taylor's MALAMANDER after eight-way auction

Thomas Taylor(1).png

We're over the moon to share the news that Thomas Taylor has signed a six-figure deal with Walker for a new trilogy.

Walker duo Denise Johnstone-Burt (UK) and Susan Van Metre (US) jointly acquired world rights to Malamander, set in a seaside town, and two further titles in a trilogy of the same name.

Malamander is told from the perspective of Herbert Lemon, the Lost-and-Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, who tries to unite objects that have been left at the hotel with their owners. Other characters in the story include Violet Palma, who is lost and needs to be found, and the eponymous Malamander, who controls people’s dreams.

The trilogy was signed for a six-figure sum, after an eight-way auction, from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. Walker will publish Malamander in May 2019.

Taylor created the original cover for J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and will illustrate the series throughout. He has also signed up to illustrate a graphic novel edition of Anthony Horowitz’s The Falcon’s Malteser for Walker Books.

Congratulations, Thomas!

Happy Publication Day to Lisa Samson

All at DGA are wishing a very happy publication day to Lisa Samson, whose book, Epitaph for the Ash is released today, published by Fourth Estate.

Inspired by her uncle, Lisa Samson has communed with trees since her childhood. Tragically, a disease from mainland Europe now poses a very serious threat to the ash tree’s survival. Epitaph for the Ash explores how barren our landscape could become without the ash’s familiar branches protruding from limestone scars and chalky cliff faces.

The trees’ grave prognosis takes on a personal resonance when, in the course of writing this book, Lisa is diagnosed with a brain tumour. While she receives treatment, and learns to walk and talk again, Lisa finds solace once more in the natural world. She continues to research her beloved forests, which once sheltered a wealth of flora and fauna, seeking out the possibilities that modern science might provide for their survival.

Taking us from the lowlands of Norfolk to northernmost reaches of the British Isles, Lisa's book is a celebration of the deep cultural and historical significance of the ash. As Lisa contemplates her own mortality, and the trees’ likely fate emerges, Epitaph for the Ash offers up a rallying cry to treasure these remarkable woodlands while we still can, before it is too late.

Make sure you pick up a copy here.

Rebecca Ley's debut novel, SWEET FRUIT, SOUR LAND to Sandstone Press

We are over the moon and cannot wait to share that Rebecca Ley's debut work of speculative fiction, will be published by Sandstone Press this summer. 

5QoN4X_Y_400x400.jpg

The publisher acquired world rights to Ley’s book from DGA's Philippa Sitters.

When a wealthy client visits Mathilde’s dressmaking shop, she finds herself drawn into the only surviving circle of luxury left in a barren London. Attending parties offers a welcome escape from life governed by ration cards and a strictly enforced child policy. Here she meets enigmatic government minister, George, and piano-playing Jaminder, with whom an intense friendship blossoms. As Mathilde tries to discover where the illicit food is coming from and where non-conforming women disappear to, George’s grip on her tightens.

Assistant publisher Kay Farrell is "thrilled" to be adding Ley’s debut to the Sandstone Press list.

"Sweet Fruit, Sour Land is a modern, beautifully written work of speculative fiction exploring questions of identity and female solidarity. It’s an exciting new direction for the Sandstone Press List", she said.

Sitters added: "I couldn’t be happier that Kay, Bob and all at Sandstone Press are publishing Rebecca’s gorgeous book. The enthusiasm they’re putting behind her debut novel is just so important and I can’t wait see it out in the world."

Caroline Bird part of Ted Hughes Award Shortlist

516LeaMHQpL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

We're thrilled to share that Caroline Bird has been listed among the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for her most recent collection, In These Days of Prohibition (Carcanet). The prize seeks to recognise excellence in poetry, highlighting outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life. The £5,000 prize is donated by Carol Ann Duffy, funded from the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen.

Of Caroline's work the judges said it was “powerful, disturbing – yet witty and very funny in places; redemptive.”

In These Days of Prohibition is Caroline Bird's fifth Carcanet collection. As always, she is a poet of dark hilarity and telling social comment. Shifting between poetic and vulgar registers, the surreal imagery of her early work is re-deployed to venture into the badlands of the human psyche. Her poems hold their subjects in an unflinching grip, addressing faces behind the veneer, asking what it is that keeps us alive. These days of prohibition are days of intoxication and inebriation, rehab in a desert and adultery for atheists, until finally Bird edges us out of danger, 'revving on a wish'.

The winner will be announced at the Ted Hughes Award & National Poetry Competition awards ceremony on 28th March 2018.

Jeet Thayil's spectacular new novel out now

We're thrilled to share that Jeet Thayil's second novel, The Book of Chocolate Saints is available to buy now, published by Faber & Faber. 

'This novel is a rich harvest; it moves with the strange and flawless certainty of a dream ... It is superbly written, and its madness is also its strength.' --- Edna O'Brien

Chocolate Saints_cover.jpg

Francis Newton Xavier has lived a wild existence of excess in pursuit of his uncompromising aesthetic vision. His paintings and poems – which embody the flamboyant and decadent jeu d'esprit of his heroes like Baudelaire - have forged his reputation, which is to be celebrated at a new show in Delhi.

Approaching middle age in a body ravaged by hard-living, Xavier leaves Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks with his young girlfriend – and his journey home to India becomes a delirious voyage into the past. From his formative years with an infamous school of fin de siècle Bombay poets – as documented by his biographer, Diswas, in these pages – Xavier must move forward into an uncertain future of salvation or damnation.

His story results in The Book of Chocolate Saints: an epic novel of contemporary Indian life that probes the mysterious margins where art bleeds into the occult, and celebrates the artist's life itself as a final monument. It is Jeet Thayil’s spiritual, passionate, and demented masterpiece.

You can buy a copy now. 

New title from Sharon Blackie to September Publishing

We're thrilled to share that September Publishing has signed mythologist and psychologist Sharon Blackie’s fictional collection of literary reworkings of myth and fairy tales.

The publisher acquired world all language rights to Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Tales of Shape-Shifting Women from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. It will be published as a hardback during autumn 2019, and is September’s third book with Sharon Blackie.

Publisher Hannah MacDonald praised Blackie, who she said is a "key author" for the press.

"Her beautiful prose delivers profound truths on the feminine experience, and on the importance of the mythic imagination in daily life", said MacDonald. "Above all, she is a writer rooted in a deep sense of place, urging us to connect with and listen to the land and its creatures. Her international success has grown from social media, events and through charismatic indie booksellers in the UK and US."

MacDonald added: "She defies genre pigeonholes but Foxfire, Wolfskin – a fictional collection of fantastic characters – will be a breakout book for Sharon in the high street trade, expanding the range of her writings on the relevance of myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today."

Blackie's previous books are If Women Rose Rooted and The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday.

Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Tales of Shape-Shifting Women is a return to fiction for mythologist and psychologist Sharon Blackie. Each "beautifully crafted" tale is a modern reworking of essential myths and fairy tales from our native folklore.

Blackie said: "I’m delighted to be working on another project with the committed and creative women at the heart of September’s team. The stories in Foxfire, Wolfskin are about women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. They’re also about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and come to terms with the wildness – and wilderness – within. Above all, their ultimate concern is with the ways we might weave the magical threads of myth and enchantment back into the tapestry of modern life."