Arundhati Roy's THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS Sold in 19 Countries

  ©   Mayank Austen Soofi

© Mayank Austen Soofi

We're delighted to share that translation rights in Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, have been sold in nineteen countries by Lisette Verhagen of Susanna Lea Associates.

Brazil, Companhia das Letras - Denmark, Rosinante - Egypt (Arabic), Al Kotob Khan - Finland, Otava - France, Gallimard - Germany, Fischer Verlag - Greece, Psichogios - Holland, Prometheus - Hungary, Helikon - Iceland, Forlagid - Italy, Guanda - Norway,  Pax -Poland, Zysk - Portugal, ASA - Slovakia,  Slovart - Spain, Anagrama - Sweden, Brombergs -Turkey, Can, - Taiwan, Commonwealth.

Simon Prosser, of Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton who are publishing in the UK, and Meru Gokhale, of Penguin Random House India, said: "The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters - brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging... What an incredible book it is-on multiple levels; one of the finest we have read in recent times."
 

Julia Shaw's Making Evil sells to three publishers

Deals have now been made to three publishers for Julia Shaw's second book, Making Evil. Canongate will publish in the UK, Doubleday in Canada and Hanser in Germany.

The Memory Illusion was a bestseller in both Germany and Canada, and will be published in over fifteen other countries.

'Come with me on a journey to uncover the science behind your living nightmares. Let me pose the questions that you are too afraid to ask in public, but to which you have always wanted to know the answers.

 

This book seeks to harness your curiosity, and offers an exploration of what evil is, and the lessons we can learn from science to better understand why humans do bad things. Using a combination of science and philosophy, I pick apart questions that will help you to better understand the world, and yourself - giving you a guided tour through the darkest corners of your Google search history. Questions like ‘would I kill baby Hitler’, ‘do I look evil’, and ‘why do I want to murder my spouse’.

 

It explores aspects of human nature that help us to understand why we all sometimes think and do things that are ‘evil’. Ultimately, our reaction to deviance may tell us less about others and more about ourselves.'

 

Making Evil is a fresh and rigorously scientific book that breaks down our fears, and tears into the dark dispositions that lie within each of us.

 

As a criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw and author of the highly acclaimed The Memory Illusion, deals with the topic of evil on a daily basis. In Making Evil, she uses the latest scientific research to show us why people behave so badly and how we can prevent evil acts by understanding more profoundly how such acts come about – and what truly makes us evil.

 

Foreign rights are represented by Lisette Verhagen at SLA.

 

 

Trentmann's EMPIRE OF THINGS among the best of 2016

The Times has declared Frank Trentmann's Empire of Things one of its books of the year - "At last, a genuinely enjoyable book about our addiction to things". It's not the only paper to include the insightful work of non-fiction on its list. Cambridge psychology tutor, Terri Apter wrote in the TLS that the book "challenges the popular notion of a twentieth-century "affluent society" and offers, instead, an illuminating account of how our vexing and complex attachment to things has arisen across the past five centuries from an interplay of market forces, politics, war, identity and emotion".

The Sunday Times book of the year list lauded Empire of Things as "sweeping, insightful and often surprising, this history of consumerism since the Elizabethans is itself a vast treasure chest of consumer pleasures, from coffee and chocolate to stuffed crocodiles. Fear of consumerism, Trentmann shows, is as old as consumerism itself: the Catholic Church inveighed against "luxury", while by 1770 one Scottish writer was complaining that his countrymen had become "slaves to their own wants". Yet Trentmann's bustling, overflowing book is a refreshing antidote to snobbish doom-mongering, showing how credit cards and washing machines have liberated rather than enslaved us." 

If you'd like to gain some perspective ahead of the season of 'things', you can get hold of the book here.

Brawn & Parr's TOTAL COMPETITION, a bestseller.

Ross Brawn and Adam Parr's recently released title, Total Competition, has been met with brilliant reviews. Lauded as the most compelling, comprehensive and revealing insight into what it takes to get to the top in Formula One that has ever been published, the book spans four decades, during which Ross Brawn was one of the most innovative and successful technical directors and then team principals in Formula One. Leading Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes, he worked with World Champions Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Now, in this fascinating book written with Adam Parr (who was CEO and then chairman of Williams for five years), he looks back over his career and methods to assess how he did it, and where occasionally he got things wrong. 

Total Competition is a definitive portrait of modern motorsport. In the book, Brawn and Parr explore the unique pressures of Formula One, their battles with Bernie Ecclestone, and the cut-throat world they inhabited, where coming second is never good enough. Just as Sir Alex Ferguson used his experiences as a football manager to write Leading, this book will appeal not only to the millions of Formula One fans who want to understand how Brawn operated, it will also provide many lessons in how to achieve your business goals. 

F1 Fanatic said it was "...an absorbing and revealing read. A few years from now we may reflect on this as one of the most important books on Formula One to appear for a long time." While The Express said that "even if you have no prior knowledge of or interest in Formula One, Total Competition still offers valuable lessons on how to succeed in pressurised environments and forge working relationships with difficult colleagues. And for those in love with the sport, it is a must-have insight into the awe-inspiring career of a true motor racing great."

It was great to see Ross Brawn interviewed for The Guardian last week. Click below to read the article in full.

2017 Eccles British Library Writer's Award Winners Announced

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Along with The Eccles Centre at the British Library we are absolutely thrilled to share that novelist Hannah Kohler and writer, film producer and member of the Mercury-nominated pop group Saint Etienne, Bob Stanley, are the joint winners of the 2017 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.

Now in its sixth year, The Eccles British Library Writer’s Award was set up as part of the Eccles Centre’s charge to promote awareness of the British Library collections relating to the USA and Canada and to help facilitate the use of these collections. Each winner is awarded £20,000 and will use the British Library’s collections to research their upcoming publications during their residency which starts in January 2017. 

Kohler, whose first novel, THE OUTSIDE LANDS, was published by Picador earlier in 2016 and will be published in paperback in January 2017, will be researching her second novel, CATSPAW, which follows two women from Chicago to the Sierra foothills during the California Gold Rush of 1849. The Gold Rush told people they could be somebody different, and for Pearl Nye and Emeline Snow, it offers the opportunity to escape the constraints of their lives in Victorian-era America. It’s the story of the corrosive and curative powers of desir and the complications of friendship.    

Following on from YEAH YEAH YEAH: The Story of Modern Pop, Stanley will be researching his new book, TOO DARN HOT: THE STORY OF POPULAR MUSIC.  Pop music existed before rock ‘n’ roll.  It had existed for more than fifty years. TOO DARN HOT will make sense of the crucial 50-year period from the very first recorded music to the rock ‘n’ roll era; the major stars, the songwriters, the leaps in technology, the heroes and heroines, and their links to the modern pop era. The book will show how the relationship between Britain and America created the sounds of Broadway and Hollywood, and how immigrant cultures rubbed together and shaped the future with songs purpose-built to sell. Together they provided the soundtrack of the twentieth century.                                                                                                                              

The connection with the Eccles Centre will allow Kohler and Stanley to research their projects in the great surroundings of the British Library, and to use the Centre’s programme and networks to engage with other researchers, students and members of the public.    

Director of the Eccles Centre, Professor Philip Davies, says, ‘the latest winners of this fabulous award bring the total number of Eccles British Library Writer’s Award holders to a dozen, and the total investment in the future of these writers to almost a quarter of a million pounds, at a time when we are marking 25 years of the Eccles Centre. Together the British Library’s collections, the Eccles Centre’s support and the Award winners’ vision combine in the production of great works founded firmly on the greatest research collections.’

The judges for the Award this year were Professor Sarah Churchwell, Professorial Fellow in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, Richard Carwardine, formerly President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Professor Philip Davies, Director of the Eccles Centre, Catherine Eccles literary scout and granddaughter of David and Mary Eccles, who endowed the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the Library in 1991 and Dr Mercedes Aguirre, Lead Curator for the Americas at the British Library.   Such was the high standard of submissions for this year’s award, that again, two awards were given.

Congratulations Hannah and Bob! 

Happy Publication Day Adam Parr & Ross Brawn

Wishing a very happy publication day to Adam Parr and Ross Brawn, whose non-fiction title is released today from Simon & Schuster. 

Total Competition is the most compelling, comprehensive and revealing insight into what it takes to get to the top in Formula One that has ever been published. Across four decades, Ross Brawn was one of the most innovative and successful technical directors and then team principals in Formula One. Leading Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes, he worked with drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to make them world champions. Now, in this fascinating book written with Adam Parr (who was CEO and then chairman of Williams for five years), he looks back over his career and methods to assess how he did it, and where occasionally he got things wrong. 
    Total Competition is a definitive portrait of modern motorsport. In the book, Brawn and Parr explore the unique pressures of Formula One, their battles with Bernie Ecclestone, and the cut-throat world they inhabited, where coming second is never good enough. Just as Sir Alex Ferguson used his experiences as a football manager to write Leading, this book will appeal not only to the millions of Formula One fans who want to understand how Brawn operated, it will also provide many lessons in how to achieve your business goals. 

Buy the book here.

Harriet Shawcross' UNSPEAKABLE to be published by Canongate

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We're so pleased to share that Canongate has signed Unspeakable: The Things We Cannot Say by Harriet Shawcross, saying it will be the publisher's lead title in autumn 2018.

Publisher Jenny Todd acquired world rights from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

The publisher said: "We have all on occasion been lost for words - but what makes some aspects of life truly unspeakable? And what happens when we find we have nothing to say? From the inexpressible trauma of trench warfare, to the taboo of coming out, Unspeakable, explores how and why words fail us. Part memoir, part journalism, in Unspeakable documentary-film maker Harriet Shawcross travels across the world to meet people living in silence.

"She examines how we have tried to coax the words out - from public hypnotism of hysterical mutes in 19th century Paris, to the growth of talking therapy in the shadow of World War One. And she looks at how we have made space for the secret and taboo - from the establishment of the Samaritans in an East London crypt, to her own experiences of coming out in her 30s, and articulating what she imagined to be unspeakable."

Todd said: "In Unspeakable, Harriet Shawcross gives voice to the silent, and we are so delighted to be helping her to do that. Unique, heartfelt and deeply moving".

Congratulations Harriet!

Praise for Richard Holmes' THIS LONG PURSUIT

The Observer has declared the recently released title This Long Pursuit, "heaven for Holmes's fans" and they're not the only ones won over by his brilliant new work of non-fiction.

This Long Pursuit is a confessional chronicle and pilgrimage that takes biographer Richard Holmes across three centuries, through much of Europe and into both his intellectual passions as well as the lively company of many earlier biographers.

'If our world is to be saved, we must understand it both scientifically and imaginatively’. So writes biographer Richard Holmes in This Long Pursuit, a kaleidoscope of stories and meditations in which he revisits two hundred working notebooks, and celebrates his beloved art of biography, calling it the vital handshake across time, cultures, beliefs, disciplines and genders.

Ranging widely over art, science and poetry, Holmes confesses to a lifetime’s obsession with his Romantic subjects a pursuit or pilgrimage of the heart.

Central to this quest is a powerful and tender evocation of the lives of women, both scientific and literary some well-known and some almost lost: Margaret Cavendish, Mary Somerville, Germaine de Stal, Mary Wollstonecraft and the Dutch intellectual, Zlide.

The book also reviews the controversial reputations of some favourite Romantic figures: the love-stunned Keats, the water-logged poet Shelley, the chocolate-box painter Thomas Lawrence, the opium-soaked genius Coleridge, and the mad-visionary bard, William Blake.

The diversity of Holmes’s material is testimony to his empathy, his erudition and his enquiring spirit; and also sometimes to his mischief. He offers a unique insider’s account of a biographer at work: travelling, teaching, researching, fantasising, forgetting, and even ballooning. From this great chronicler of the Romantics now comes a chronicle of himself and his intellectual passions. This Long Pursuit contains his most personal and seductive writing.

Praise for This Long Pursuit

‘A must read … intriguing and satisfying … All the sketches makes illuminating reading, in many cases deliberately setting out to provoke a rethink of earlier biographies … I thoroughly enjoyed the book; indeed I devoured it’ Athene Donald, Guardian

‘A glorious series of essays on the art of life writing and a worthy successor to his earlier volumes on the craft, Footsteps and Sidetracks … heaven for Holmes fans … the best account imaginable for the richness of his form’ Observer

‘This collection of 15 years of high-profile lectures and anthology contributions offers us a lorryload of arresting subjects … ‘This Long Pursuit’ is distinguished by a geniality of tone … Holmes's) eye for detail is as sharp as ever’ The Times

‘Holmes writes beautifully of the perils of memory and forgetting … perhaps the essay that best sums up Holmes's endeavour is his superb explosion of the accepted account of Coleridge's 1808 lectures to the Royal Institution … a masterly performance by … the greatest literary biographer of his generation’ The Oldie

If these compelling reviews have swayed you, you can buy the book here.

Suzanne O'Sullivan wins General Biology Book Prize

Congratulations to Suzanne O’Sullivan who won the General Biology Book Prize last night for It’s All in Your Head!

Awarded at Charles Darwin House as part of the Biology Week Celebrations and hosted by the Royal Society of Biology, Suzanne saw off competition from five other books to scoop the £500 prize. 

It’s All In Your Head also won the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize in April and is currently shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Award (non-fiction).

Vote here!: 

http://www.nationalbooktokens.com/vote#bamb-vote

The other shortlisted books were: 

Body by Darwin: How Evolution Transforms our Health and Shapes Medicine by Jeremy Taylor (University of Chicago Press)

Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality by Jules Howard (Bloomsbury Sigma)

Life's Greatest Secret by Matthew Cobb (Profile Books)

Spirals in TIme: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells by Helen Scales (Bloomsbury Sigma)

The Cell: A Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life by Jack Challoner and Philip Dash (Ivy Press)

Happy Publication Day Marcus Sedgwick

Wishing a very happy publication day to Marcus Sedgwick, who's celebrating a double whammy - his beautiful book Snow is released today from publisher, Little Toller and his Young Adult novel, Saint Death is published by Orion Children's Books.

Of all weathers, snow is the one that has always affected Marcus Sedgwick the most. While many people’s idea of the ideal holiday involves sun, sea and sand, he makes trips to cold and snowy parts of the world: Russia, Scandinavia, the Arctic Circle. Five years ago, he and his partner bought a mountain house, an old chalet d’alpage high in the Haute Savoie, and for the first time he started to truly understand what it is to live in an environment where extreme amounts of snow are frequent.

Like the six sides of a snowflake, the book has six chapters which explore the art, literature and science of snow, as well as Marcus Sedgwick’s own experiences and memories, asking whether it really did snow more during his boyhood in Kent and whether changing climate patterns might mean snow becomes a thing of the past for many of us. He also wonders why snow is so powerful to our imagination, so transformative, and as fundamental as our response to darkness and sunlight.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez - twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America - the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he's been working for. He's dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he's on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they're as good as dead.

Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) - she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

 

Buy Snow here and Saint Death here keep up to date with all of Marcus' news on Twitter - @marcussedgwick

 

New Arundhati Roy novel announced

All at DGA are thrilled to share that Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin India will be publishing THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS by Arundhati Roy in June 2017. It is her first work of fiction since THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS, which won the Booker prize nineteen years ago in 1997.

 ©  Mayank Austen Soofi 2016

© Mayank Austen Soofi 2016

'I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers,' Arundhati said of the news.

In a joint statement, Simon Prosser of Hamish Hamilton and Meru Gokhale of Penguin India said, 'To publish this book is both a pleasure and an honour. What an incredible book it is—on multiple levels; one of the finest we have read in recent times.

The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters – brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging. It makes the novel new – in the original meaning of novel.'

Her agent David Godwin said - 'Only Arundhati could have written this novel. Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.'

Happy Publication Day Lara Pawson

Wishing a very happy publication day to Lara Pawson, whose second book, This Is the Place to Be, goes out into the world today from independent publisher CB Editions.

We've been lucky enough to get our hands on some early reviews...

"Lara Pawson has already written a non-fiction book about Angola's violent history - the Orwell prize-longlisted In the Name of the People. This is something different, a memoir partly about her time reporting on the country's civil war for the BBC, and partly about her life before it and afterwards. It is fast-moving, fragmentary and often aggressively candid. Pawson tells her story in isolated paragraphs that come at you with opening lines like a boxer's best left hooks: "Because I've been mistaken for a man so often..."; "I'm tempted to delete that paragraph, but there's more." As an examination of the realities and ethics of war reporting, the book says much about what exposure to violence can do to people, about the kind of person who would seek such experience out, and about what turning away from it does to you. Above all, it challenges the reader to examine their own beliefs and decisions closely as Pawson has examined hers. Brilliant and uncompromising." Jonathan Gibbs, The Guardian

"Lara Pawson's This Is the Place to Be is a start, compassionate and troubling text that summons a fragmentary autobiography, circling experiences from her growing up in England and her time as a reporter covering civil wars in Angola and Ivory Coast. She deals with big questions through an intimate mosaic of lived experiences - the blank, funny, awful, gentle shards that remain in memory years after events have taken place - returning her again and again to the themes of identity, violence, race, class, sexuality and the everyday lives of people across several continents. 

The Simple form of the book belies a complex structure of association and contrast, point and counterpoint, in which the disconnected events of a life speak to and about each other across time and space, in illuminating ways. Reminiscent on a formal level to Edouard Leve's Autoportrait and the writing under constraint of Perec and the OuliPo group, Pawson's poetic recounting of facts also shares something of Kathy Acker and J. G. Ballard, in its attempt to write through both the extraordinary horror and extraordinary mundanity of trauma." - Tim Etchells. 

s a life? Lara Pawson’s lucid, sudden and subtle memoir unpicks the spirals of memory, politics, violence, to trace the boundaries and crossing points of gender and race identity.’ Joanna Walsh

‘A crushingly honest memoir of war, war correspondence and personal mayhem … Her focus is direct, bleakly honest, and as a result full of hope.’ - M John Harrison

 

Anthony Gottlieb in the New Yorker

If you missed the 5th September issue of the New Yorker magazine you won't have read this engrossing article on the role philosophy has played through history and the review of Anthony Gottlieb's "wondrously perceptive and exceptionally well-written" book, The Dream of Enlightenment. 

 Click to read the article, via  The New Yorker

Click to read the article, via The New Yorker

In The Dream of Enlightenment, Anthony Gottlieb vividly explains the rise of modern thought from Descartes to Rousseau

Western philosophy is now two and a half millennia old, but much of it came in just two staccato bursts, each lasting only about 150 years. In his landmark survey of Western philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, The Dream of Reason, Anthony Gottlieb documented the first of these, which came in the Athens of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Now, in The Dream of Enlightenment, Gottlieb expertly navigates the second great explosion of thought, taking us to northern Europe in the wake of its wars of religion and the rise of Galilean science. In a relatively short period - from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution - Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark.The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy.

As Gottlieb explains, all these men were amateurs: none had much to do with any university. They tried to fathom the implications of the new science and of religious upheaval, which led them to question traditional teachings and attitudes. What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God? How should a government deal with religious diversity - and what is government actually for? Such questions remain our questions.

Yet it is because we still want to hear them that we can easily get these philosophers wrong. It is tempting to think they speak our language and live in our world; but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes. Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times while engagingly explaining their arguments and assessing their legacy. The Dream of Enlightenment creates a sweeping account of what they amounted to, and why we are still in their debt.

The Dream of Enlightenment and its predecessor, The Dream of Reason are published in the UK by Allen Lane. Translation rights are with DGA.

Happy Publication Day to Sarah Ward

Today we're wishing Sarah Ward a very happy publication day as she launches her second novel, A Deadly Thaw, into the world. The crime-thriller is the second in the Inspector Francis Sadler series, published by Faber & Faber.

 

'Gives the Scandi authors a run for their money.' Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Every secret has consequences.

Autumn 2004
In Bampton, Derbyshire, Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew.

Spring 2016
A year after Lena’s release from prison, Andrew is found dead in a disused mortuary.

Who was the man Lena killed twelve years ago, and who committed the second murder? When Lena disappears, her sister, Kat, sets out to follow a trail of clues delivered by a mysterious teenage boy. Kat must uncover the truth – before there’s another death . . .

A Deadly Thaw confirms Sarah Ward’s place as one of the most exciting new crime writers.

Keep up to date with all of Sarah's news via Twitter - @SarahWard1

4th Estate to publish Postcard from the Past

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We're thrilled to share that 4th Estate has bought ‘Postcard from the Past’ by Tom Jackson from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. 

Created by postcard collector Tom Jackson, the Postcard from the Past Twitter account offers a feed of images of vintage postcards paired with a quote from the message written on the back. The interplay between the images and words has a wonderfully wistful, nostalgic effect, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of the people who wrote the cards, and cumulatively, the project forms a kind of alternate social history. It has been called ‘lovely’ by Mark Haddon, ‘sad and sweet’ by Holly Walsh and ‘a masterclass in dialogue writing’ by Jason Hazely, author of the Adult Ladybird series.

Tom Jackson says: ‘It’s been pleasing and exciting to see just how quickly so many people have taken the cards and their messages to heart. Working with 4th Estate for a Postcard From The Past book was an easy decision for me - Tom Killingbeck and the team really got the concept and its eccentric possibilities. I’m confident that together we’ll make a beautiful, odd, funny and successful book.’

Tom Killingbeck, Publishing Executive at 4th Estate says : ‘Postcard from the Past’ is that rare thing – a cult online phenomenon which will work even better in book form. Tom’s curatorial eye is exceptional, and the quotations he finds in his postcard collection are by turn hilarious, mysterious and moving. There’s a true art to what he does, and I can’t wait to introduce his work to readers who loved Letters of Note and Very British Problems next summer.’

Rights secured are UK and Commonwealth excl. Canada and audio. Publication is scheduled for June 2017. 

Happy Publication Day Simone Lia

Wishing a very happy publication day to Simone Lia, whose brilliant children's book, They Didn't Teach Us THIS in Worm School is published today by Walker Books!

A buddy comedy featuring a worm and a chicken-like bird that will have readers wriggling with laughter.

Marcus is a worm. Laurence is a bird that looks like a chicken. Laurence wants to gobble up Marcus for breakfast, but the worm surprises him with "Good morning!" Marcus tries to keep the conversation going, and it goes in a very unexpected direction: Laurence seems to think he's a flamingo (he's definitely NOT), and Marcus soon finds himself on a journey to Africa, where Laurence believes he can finally be happy. A tale of high adventure, wily tricks and unlikely friendship, beloved comic artist Simone Lia has created a comedy classic that will have readers wriggling with laughter.

Award-winning comic artist Simone Lia began painting and drawing in her dad's tool shed at the age of 13 before going on to study at the University of Brighton and then the Royal College of Art. She has written comic strips for children and adults for numerous publications including The Observer with "Things That I've Learnt", "The Chip and Bean Quiz" in The Independent on Sunday and "Sausage and Carrots" in The DFC. She has also published graphic novels Fluffy and Please God, Find Me a Husband. Her work has been exhibited across Europe, including the Tate Britain. Simone lives and works in London.

Follow Simone on Twitter for all of her latest news - @simoneliadraws and read more about her on her beautiful website - www.simonelia.com.

Great reviews for Miranda Sawyer's 'Out of Time'

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Out of Time: Midlife, If You Still Think You're Young, Miranda Sawyer's very modern look at the midlife crisis has been receiving some wonderful reviews since it was recently published by Fourth Estate.

‘A straight-talking handbook for those of us who believe we're still at our peak in middle age but need a few honest signposts’ Viv Albertine

‘I spent a lot of time nodding along in agreement to this book as if it was my favourite record’ Jeremy Deller

‘Sawyer is at her best articulating with honesty the angst many of this generation feel about getting older… the Morrissey of her journalistic generation’ Sunday Times

* * *

‘You wake one day and everything is wrong. It's as though you went out one warm evening – an evening fizzing with delicious potential, so ripe and sticky-sweet you can taste it on the air – for just one drink … and woke up two days later in a skip. Except you're not in a skip, you're in an estate car, on the way to an out-of-town shopping mall to buy a balance bike, a roof rack and some stackable storage boxes.’

Miranda Sawyer’s midlife crisis began when she was 44. It wasn't a traditional one. She didn't run off with a Pilates teacher, or blow thousands on a trip to find herself. From the outside, all remained the same. Work, kids, marriage, mortgage, blah. Days, weeks and months whizzed past as she struggled with feeling – knowing – that she was over halfway through her life. It seemed only yesterday that she was 29, out and about.

Out of Time is not a self-help book. It’s an exploration of this sudden crisis, this jolt. It looks at how our tastes, and our bodies, change as we get older. It considers the unexpected new pleasures that the second half of life can offer, from learning to code to taking up running (slowly). Speaking to musicians and artists, friends and colleagues, Miranda asks how they too have confronted midlife, and the lessons, if any, that they've learned along the way.

Keep up with Miranda's news on Twitter, here - @msmirandasawyer