Lucy Ellmann's Ducks, Newburyport Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize

© Amy Jordison

© Amy Jordison

We’re so pleased to share that Lucy Ellmann’s novel, Ducks, Newburyport has been shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize, which was established in 2013 to celebrate the qualities of creative daring associated with the College and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form.

The annual prize of £10,000 is awarded to a book that is deemed genuinely novel and which embodies the spirit of invention that characterizes the genre at its best.

Dr Erica Wagner, Chair of Judges said “This list is a fascinating snapshot of the best British and Irish fiction around.”  

The winner will be announced on 13th November.

Ducks, Newburyport is 1040 pages long, took seven years to write and has been hailed as “one of the outstanding books of the century.”

The book is made up of the inner thoughts of a middle-aged housewife from Ohio, rendered in one beautiful, breathless, eminently readable sentence, intercut with more conventionally punctuated sections telling the story of a mountain lion.  It simultaneously offers a brilliant portrait of domestic life, whilst also capturing a particular point in American history and the horrors of the Trump era, environmental desecrations and mass shootings.

The book has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019, whose winner will be announced on 14th October.

Congratulations Lucy!

Happy Publication Day Kerry Hyndman & David Long

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Wishing a very happy publication day to Kerry Hyndman and David Long, whose latest beautiful illustrated book Rescue is out today from Faber & Faber.

How far would you go to save a life? Scrambling from the wreckage of his school after an earthquake, a nine-year-old Sichuan boy rescued two unconscious friends. 'I was hall monitor,' he said afterwards. 'It is my job to look after my classmates.'

Whether dragging a friend from a blazing car, masterminding a search far below the earth's surface, or recovering astronauts from an aborted space mission, Rescue reveals the ingenuity, courage and doggedness of the human spirit all over the world.

Another unputdownable collection of eye-opening and moving true adventures, both contemporary and historical. Impeccably told by David Long and brought to vibrant life by illustrator Kerry Hyndman.

Congratulations!

Happy Publication Day Simone Lia

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Wishing Simone Lia a very happy publication day. The Secret Time Machine and the Gherkin Switcheroo is out today from Walker Books.

A brand-new buddy comedy from the internationally renowned comic artist Simone Lia.

Marcus is in trouble. He didn’t think his friend Laurence would actually believe him when he said his super brainy aunt built the very first time machine. After all, he only invented the story in a spur of the moment bid to win a silly argument! Now how on earth will he make it come true? In this hilarious and quirky new adventure starring the most unlikely of friends – a worm and a bird – Simone Lia pulls out all the theatrical stops to create a perfectly brilliant and laugh-out-loud companion to They Didn’t Teach THIS in Worm School!

Get hold of a copy here.

Congratulations Simone!

Elliott & Thompson to publish snow book from Nancy Campbell

© Annie Schlechter

© Annie Schlechter

Elliott and Thompson has acquired a “lyrical, evocative and beautiful book” from Arctic traveller and writer Nancy Campbell called Fifty Words for Snow.

Publishing director Sarah Rigby acquired world rights from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. It will be published in November 2020, in a “small, giftable hardback” edition.

The publisher said: “Nancy Campbell digs deep into the meanings, etymologies and histories of fifty international words for snow – including emerging language to reflect the changing climate. Under her magnifying glass, each of these linguistic snow crystals will offer a whole world of myth, culture and story.”

Rigby added: “I’ve been a long admirer of Nancy, her writing and icy adventuring. So when I had the opportunity to develop this concept, there was only one author I could imagine taking it on. Fifty Words for Snow will be a sparkling and beautifully conceived journey into something we should cherish.”

Congratulations Nancy!

Ashley Hickson-Lovence's THE 392 Optioned for TV

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We’re extremely excited to share that Second Generation, a new London-based TV production company, set up by author, Helen Monks Takhar and former Sky exec Danny Takhar, have optioned their first drama project, acquiring the TV rights to Ashley Hickson-Lovence’s debut novel The 392, a bus-based terrorism thriller.

The 392 is set entirely over a soaring 36 minutes on a London rush-hour bus, exploring what divides and unites a vivid cast of apparently unconnected passengers when a suspected terrorist boards, through a revelatory state-of-the-nation story.

Second Generation has picked up the rights from storytelling lifestyle brand and publisher Own It! in a deal negotiated by Crystal Mahey-Morgan and Anthony Mestriner of Casarotto Ramsay Associates.

Monks Takhar told Deadline that her and Takhar had been “beavering away” on the company’s slate for while. “We believe our MO is pretty niche, with myself writing novels that we adapt and produce, as well as generating and acquiring choice projects like The 392,” she added.

Congratulations Ashley!

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the wonderful book, The 392, here.

Happy Publication Day Sharon Blackie

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Wishing an enchanting publication day to Sharon Blackie, whose collection, Foxfire, Wolfskin and other Stories of Shapeshifting Women is out today from September Publishing.

Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shapeshifting women of our native folklore.

Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia - Sharon brings to life women's remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness and wilderness within.

Beautifully illustrated by Helen Nicholson, this is her first collection of short stories.

"A deeply evocative and haunting collection... Part rally cry, part warning, part manifesto and all parts enchanting, Sharon Blackie's Foxfire, Wolfskin is a deeply evocative and haunting collection. I want to press this powerful book into the hands of everyone I know and say listen." -- Holly Ringland, author of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

"Sharon Blackie has wrought a new-old magic for our times: glorious, beautiful, passionate myths. They show who we could have been, and they give us a glimpse of a world-that-could-be." -- Manda Scott, author of A Treachery of Spies and Boudica

Congratulations Sharon from all of us at DGA. Make sure you pick up a copy, here today.

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY TO SUSAN DENHAM AND HER BOOK AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

We are delighted to congratulate Susan Denham on the publication of her debut non fiction book, As Far as The Eye Can See: a History of Seeing.


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Eyes were one of the very first body parts to evolve more than 500 million years ago, and their structure has remained virtually unchanged through most of evolutionary history. But eyes alone were never enough for Homo sapiens.
From the mastery of fire a million years ago to the smartphone today, humans have repeatedly invented new ways to see their surroundings, each other and themselves. Artificial light, art, mirrors, writing, lenses, printing, photography, film, television, smartphones these tools didn't just add to our visual repertoire, they shaped cultures around the world and made us who we are.
Drawing on sources from anthropology to zoology, neuroscience to Netflix, As Far As the Eye Can See traces the history of seeing from the first evolutionary stirrings of sight and discovers that each time we changed how or what we see, we changed ourselves and the world around us. Along the way, it finds, sight slowly eclipsed our other senses.
Are we now at 'peak seeing', the author asks. Can our eyes keep up with technology?
Have we gone as far as the eye can see?

Published by the History Press, Susan spent twenty years researching, writing and presenting on the future of television, digital media and communications technology in London and Hollywood, working for Warner Bros Studios, the BBC, McKinsey and Company, and as a freelance consultant.
Susan is passionate about exploring the ideas and inventions that made the modern world, especially the serendipitous, the accidental and the unexpected.

Order your copy here.




William Dalrymple's The Anarchy makes waves

This week saw the release of William Dalrymple’s The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company from Bloomsbury Publishing and not only has the book been bringing in some brilliant reviews, but it’s just been announced that it has a place on the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction longlist.

In August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to establish in his richest provinces a new administration run by English merchants who collected taxes through means of a ruthless private army - what we would now call an act of involuntary privatisation.

The East India Company's founding charter authorised it to 'wage war' and it had always used violence to gain its ends. But the creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional international trading corporation dealing in silks and spices and became something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business. In less than four decades it had trained up a security force of around 200,000 men - twice the size of the British army - and had subdued an entire subcontinent, conquering first Bengal and finally, in 1803, the Mughal capital of Delhi itself. The Company's reach stretched until almost all of India south of the Himalayas was effectively ruled from a boardroom in London.

The Anarchy tells the remarkable story of how one of the world's most magnificent empires disintegrated and came to be replaced by a dangerously unregulated private company, based thousands of miles overseas in one small office, five windows wide, and answerable only to its distant shareholders. In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power.

Praise for The Anarchy

‘…I can’t recommend it enough … A powerful account of the “relentless rise of the East India Company” … It filled huge gaps in my education’ Sathnam Sanghera, The Times

‘Gloriously opulent … India is a sumptuous place. Telling its story properly demands lush language, not to mention sensitivity towards the country’s passionate complexity. Dalrymple is a superb historian with a visceral understanding of India … A book of beauty’ Gerard DeGroot, The Times

‘A tour de force’ ★★★★★Anne de Courcy, Telegraph

‘It is well-trodden territory but Dalrymple, a historian and author who lives in India and has written widely about the Mughal empire, brings to it erudition, deep insight and an entertaining style’ Financial Times

‘An organisation that began as an unlikely business venture in Elizabethan London became one of Victorian Britain’s most influential institutions. The story of this extraordinary transformation is the subject of William Dalrymple’s magnificent new book … Dalrymple is an accomplished historian with a gift for imposing narrative clarity on a complex story. He combines a profound understanding of the background against which the Company’s story played out with an impressive capacity to weave a range of historical voices into this history … The Anarchy explodes myths that have accreted around the history of the Company like barnacles on the hulls of its ships. Dalrymple’s beautifully paced prose corrects the view that there was a masterplan for conquering the subcontinent… Dalrymple shines a forensic light on the knotty historical relationship between commercial and imperial power’ John McAleer, Evening Standard

‘As William Dalrymple shows in his rampaging, brilliant, passionate history … the East India Co. was the most advanced capitalist organization in the world … Dalrymple gives us every sword-slash, every scam, every groan and battle cry. He has no rival as a narrative historian of the British in India … The Anarchy is not simply a gripping tale of bloodshed and deceit, of unimaginable opulence and intolerable starvation. It is shot through with an unappeasable moral passion’ Wall Street Journal

‘A masterful account of the rise of a predatory multinational that became a law unto itself is as timely as it is fantastic … William Dalrymple has been for some years one of the most eloquent and assiduous chroniclers of Indian history. With this new work, he sounds a minatory note … Dalrymple has done a great service in not just writing an eminently readable history of eighteenth century India, but in reflecting on how so much of it serves as a warning for our own time’ Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

 ‘Dalrymple’s first achievement in The Anarchy is to render this history an energetic pageturner that marches from the counting house on to the battlefield, exploding patriotic myths along the way … Dalrymple’s spirited, detailed telling will be reason enough for many readers to devour The Anarchy. But his more novel and arguably greater achievement lies in the way he places the company’s rise in the turbulent political landscape of late Mughal India … Dalrymple brings the insights of years of living in Delhi and immersing himself in Indian art, archives and historical sites … He has a particular talent for using Indian paintings as historical sources, a skill complemented by the volume’s sumptuous illustrations. And nobody sets a scene as well as he does … It needs to be read to beat back the wilfully ignorant imperial nostalgia gaining ground in Britain and the poisonously distorted histories trafficked by Hindu nationalists in India. It needs to be read because with constitutional norms under threat in both countries, the defences seem more fragile than ever’ Maya Jasanoff, Guardian

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The book’s appearance on the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction longlist is wonderful news. The shortlist for the award, which recently announced it was raising prize money to £50,000, will be announced on 22nd October, before the winner is crowned on 19th November in a ceremony at the Science Museum.

Chair of judges Stig Abell said: "It's been a summer of reading with unbridled pleasure, and I think we've ended up with a longlist of books that are - by turns - provocative, magisterial and beautiful pieces of work. Above all, they are companionable: stories to which you are happy to turn and return, some with contemporary resonances, others that are more timeless. Going from twelve down to six and then picking a winner is going to be a bit of a challenge."

Alongside the TLS editor, the panel includes TV producer and writer Dr Myriam Francois, English Literature professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, critic Frances Wilson, writer and lawyer Petina Gappah, and TV presenter Dr Alexander Van Tulleken.

Get hold of your very own copy, here.

Happy Publication Day Jennifer Killick

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We wanted to wish a very happy publication day to Jennifer Killick, whose fourth book and third in the Alex Sparrow series, Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse is out today from Firefly Press.

The Zumbies are on the rampage - members of the Cherry Tree Lane zumba class are apparently dying and then mysteriously coming back to life! Alex, Jess and Dave have to put a stop to it before Alex's mum and nan join the living Zumba dead or there'll be no family Christmas. But why are the Zumbies curiously drawn to the Christmas lights? What does the Octopus sign mean? And who is the evil genius behind it all?

Pick up a copy now.

Congratulations Jennifer!

Praise for Ducks, Newburyport floods in

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On the week of its US release, we wanted to share some of the incredible praise for Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport -

“The time and care [Ellmann] lavishes on her narrator seem like their own form of political speculation—that every individual is owed an unending devotion, and that such devotion, applied universally, might change the fate of the world.”  —THE NEW YORKER

"Is it any good? Oh my word, yes. Reading it at this point in time feels like an act of human solidarity,

a commitment to a world of truth and reason."  —LITERARY REVIEW

"Ignore the laundry. Let this novel open like an oubliette under your feet." —Parul Sehgal, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“In her latest novel, Lucy Ellmann doesn’t just carry on as before: she doubles up, doubles down, and absolutely 

goes for broke. … Success? Failure? A triumph.” —Ian Samson, THE GUARDIAN

“Sei Shonagon [and] Walt Whitman… are the intellectual company Ellmann keeps. … Ducks, Newburyport [is] as accumulative, as pointed, as death-addled, as joyous, as storied, as multitudinous and as large as life.” —Martin Riker, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“A feat of simultaneous compression and expansion... Among many other things, [Ducks, Newburyport] is a rebuke to the frequent downgrading of the 'domestic' in literature.” —Alex Clark, THE GUARDIAN

“Extraordinary... astounding... amazing... one of the outstanding books of the century, so far.” —THE IRISH TIMES

“In her latest novel, Lucy Ellmann doesn’t just carry on as before: she doubles up, doubles down, and absolutely goes for broke. … Success? Failure? A triumph.” —THE GUARDIAN

“Resplendent in ambition, humour, and humanity. … In Ducks, Newburyport, Ellmann has created a wisecracking Mrs Dalloway for the internet age.”  —THE FINANCIAL TIMES

“A novel that rewards perseverance, is truly unique, and feels like an absence in your life when you finish it." —THE OBSERVER

“Forbidding and magnificent... Ellmann has produced a domestic epic of modern American life in the Trump era.” —PROSPECT

“Astonishing. … A Molly Bloom for middle America.”  —BBC FRONT ROW

“Full of wit and intelligence... and one of the most intriguing, charming and genuinely funny characters I have come across in recent years.”  —THE HERALD 

“Is it any good? Oh my word yes. Reading it at this point in time feels like an act of human solidarity, a commitment to a world of truth and reason.” —THE LITERARY REVIEW

“A bravura fear: a stream of consciousness, a transcript of the world under modern conditions, and (as a consequence of Ellmann’s fierce and succinct wit) very funny.”  —THE SCOTTISH REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Timely, fresh… and possibly one of the most important books of the decade.”  —THE LA REVIEW OF BOOKS

“An impressive feat… Ellmann’s 1024 pages put her male contemporaries in the shade.”  —THE SUNDAY TIMES

“A huge achievement.”  —THE TLS

“Hilarious, gigantic, jaw-breakingly delicious…  Ducks, Newburyport contains multitudes. This is the book of the year and of the first couple of decades of the twenty-first century.”   —BOOKMUNCH

Ducks, Newburyport lands on Booker Prize Shortlist

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We are thrilled to share that Lucy Ellmann’s incredible novel, Ducks, Newburyport, published this year by Galley Beggar Press, has reached the Booker Prize Shortlist alongside five other titles.

The shortlist was announced this morning (3 September) by the 2019 Chair of Judges Peter Florence, at a press conference at London’s British Library. He said, “Like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity”.

The shortlist was selected from 151 submitted books. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019.

The 2019 shortlist includes Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments (Chatto & Windus), Bernardine Evaristo’s, Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton), Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown), Salman Rushdie’s, Quichotte (Jonathan Cape) and Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking).

Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport, if it goes on to win, would be the longest winning novel in the prize’s history at 998 pages. The current longest winning novel is The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, in 2013, at 832 pages.

Chair of the 2019 judges, Peter Florence, comments:

“The common thread is our admiration for the extraordinary ambition of each of these books. There is an abundance of humour, of political and cultural engagement, of stylistic daring and astonishing beauty of language. Like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity. We have a shortlist of six extraordinary books and we could make a case for each of them as winner, but I want to toast all of them as “winners”. Anyone who reads all six of these books would be enriched and delighted, would be awe-struck by the power of story, and encouraged by what literature can do to set our imaginations free.”

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:

“It was hard to watch the judges narrow down their longlist to this shortlist: they were so committed to all 13 of the books they’d chosen just over a month ago that the discussion was intense. Still, these six remain extraordinary: they bring news of different worlds; they carry a wealth of lives and voices; they’re in conversation, in various ways, with other works of literature. I think it’s fair to say that the judges weren’t looking for anything in particular – they entered this process with an open mind – but this is what they found: a set of novels that is political, orchestral, fearless, felt. And now, by association, those six will be in fruitful conversation with one another.”

The shortlist was chosen by a panel of five judges: founder and director of Hay Festival Peter Florence (Chair); former fiction publisher and editor Liz Calder; novelist, essayist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer, broadcaster and former barrister Afua Hirsch; and concert pianist, conductor and composer Joanna MacGregor.  

The 2019 winner will be announced on Monday 14 October at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, one of the highlights of the cultural year.

The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect instant international recognition.

McCaughrain named new Seamus Heaney Children's Writing Fellow

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We’re so pleased to share that Kelly McCaughrain, author of Flying Tips for Flightless Birds (Walker Books), has been named as the new Seamus Heaney Children's Writing Fellow.  

The role, run by the Seamus Heaney Centre and the Arts Council Northern Ireland, involves two years as a children’s literature champion, promoting children's reading and writing. 

Earlier this year, McCaughrain’s debut book scooped her an unprecedented triple win at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards including Book of the Year, the Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book, and the Children’s Choice Award. McCaughrain, who lives in Belfast and works with disabled students in further education, was shortlisted for the 2013 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize.

Discussing her new role, McCaughrain told the Belfast Telegraph: "I would like to see creativity as something that is valued just as much as exam results and I'd like to focus the fellowship on encouraging creativity in young people."

Walker Books senior editor Lucy Early added: “I can’t think of a better fit for this post than the warm, inspiring and just plain fun Kelly McCaughrain. She has a natural empathy with teens, and an infectious creative energy. When I first read her debut Flying Tips for Flightless Birds, I got the editor’s goosebumps that tell us we’ve found something - and someone - special. We are glowing with pride at Walker to see Kelly’s career get off to this suitably flying start.”

Congratulations, Kelly!

Happy Publication Day to Christopher Hadley

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Wishing a very happy publication day to Christopher Hadley, whose debut non-fiction book, Hollow Places is available to buy now.

In the Middle Ages a remarkable tomb was carved to cover the bones of an English hero. For centuries the grave spawned tales about dragons and devils, giants and winged hounds. To understand why this happened, Christopher Hadley takes us on a journey through 1,000 years of history.

Hollow Places begins with a Hertfordshire dragon-slayer named Piers Shonks but soon draws us into the company of outlaws and stonemasons, antiquaries and champions. Full of wonder and always surprising, the story takes us to the margins of the Bayeux Tapestry where strange creatures gather, to ancient woodland where hollow trees hide secrets, and to the scribbled clues about folk heroes in eighteenth-century manuscripts. Hadley leads us back shivering to a church in Georgian England to sketch the dragon on a tomb, to stand atop its tower triangulating the Elizabethan countryside, and to confront the zealous Mr Dowsing and his thugs looting brasses and smashing masonry during the Civil War. Along the way, we discover how long bones will last in a crypt and where medieval stonemasons found inspiration.
 
The story of Piers Shonks is the survivor of an 800-year battle between storytellers and those who would mock or silence them. It stands for all those thousands of seemingly forgotten tales that used to belong to every village. It is an adventure into the past by a talented and original new writer, and a meditation on memory and belief that underlines the importance and the power of the folk legends we used to tell and why they still matter.

Do get hold of a copy here, today! Congratulation, Christopher.

Happy Publication Day Alistair Moffat

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We’re delighted to be wishing Alistair Moffat a very happy publication day, as his book, To The Island of Tides goes out in to the world, published by Canongate.

In To the Island of Tides, Alistair Moffat travels to – and through the history of – the fated island of Lindisfarne. Walking from his home in the Borders, through the historical landscape of Scotland and northern England, he takes us on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of saints and scholars, before arriving for a secular retreat on the Holy Isle.

Lindisfarne, famous for its monastery, home to Saints Aidan and Cuthbert and the place where the celebrated Lindisfarne Gospels were written, has long been a place of sanctuary. It is an island rich in history: the Romans knew it as Insula Medicata; it reached the height of its fame in the dark ages, even survived Viking raids, before ultimately being abandoned after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monastaries. Today the isle maintains its position as a space for retreat and spiritual renewal.

To the Island of Tides is a walk through history, a meditation on the power of place, but also a more personal journey; a chance for a personal stock-taking and a reflection on where life leads us.

Get hold of a copy, here, today!

Praise for The Hidden Ways, (Canongate, 2018)

“Our ancestors walked everywhere, unless they lived by a river or loch and travelled by boat, or were rich enough to keep a horse or pony. So Moffat will walk. He will walk over much of Scotland, following, sometimes struggling to follow, old roads that are now sometimes hard to find. This book is the story of a dozen such walks… This is a splendidly rich book – a treasure-house of information, memories and speculation”
ALLAN MASSIE
Scotsman

“This fascinating and compelling narrative will leave you spellbound and in no time you’ll be looking for your hiking boots and waterproofs … An absorbing and thought-provoking addition to the literature of Scotland’s byways”
Countryfile

The Hidden Ways makes us think about Scotland and its history in a completely different way … A truly fascinating read”
Sunday Mail

“Retracing and walking Scotland’s lost paths makes Alistair Moffat reflect upon the country’s history in a different sort of way … From Perthshire to Ballachulish, Moffat explores the land in a personal, inquisitive way and searches for evidence of the people who helped shape it”
Outdoor Photography

“A treasure trove of stories”
The Great Outdoors

DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT by Lucy Ellmann Longlisted for Booker Prize

We are beyond thrilled to share that Lucy Ellmann’s record-breaking novel has been longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019!

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This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: founder and director of Hay Festival Peter Florence (Chair); former fiction publisher and editor Liz Calder; novelist, essayist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer, broadcaster and former barrister Afua Hirsch; and concert pianist, conductor and composer Joanna MacGregor.  

The list was chosen from 151 novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019.

The Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

Chair of the 2019 judges, Peter Florence, says:

“If you only read one book this year, make a leap. Read all 13 of these. There are Nobel candidates and debutants on this list. There are no favourites; they are all credible winners. They imagine our world, familiar from news cycle disaster and grievance, with wild humour, deep insight and a keen humanity. These writers offer joy and hope. They celebrate the rich complexity of English as a global language. They are exacting, enlightening and entertaining. Really – read all of them.”

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:

“Watching the 2019 Booker Prize judges arrive at this wonderful list has been an invigorating experience. Firstly because they deemed the calibre of the submissions to be extremely high overall. Secondly because they reached far and wide in their search for the best fiction of the year, calling in (among others) Young Adult novels and books that are sometimes dismissed as ‘commercial’. Thirdly because they effortlessly absorbed the quality of the writing without ever considering the passport of its author. And lastly because, exercising their sharp minds and varied tastes, the judges weighed up each book individually yet produced a collection that shows the incredible range of what’s being written today. There are familiar names here writing at the height of their powers, there are young writers of exceptional imagination and daring, there is wit, incisive political thought, stillness and thrill. And there is a plurality that shows the making of literature in English to be a global endeavour. The 2019 longlist is a testament to its extremely good health.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 3 September at a morning press conference. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

The 2019 winner will be announced on Monday 14 October at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, one of the highlights of the cultural year. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

The winner of the 2019 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition.

If you’d like to dig into Lucy’s fantastic, 900 page novel, you can buy it, here, direct from the fantastic Galley Beggar Press, who will be donating £1 of each sale to ACLU, and their challenge to Donald Trump’s policy of detention and deportation.

Congratulate Lucy!

 

Lucy Ellmann's DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT reviewed

Published on 4th July by Galley Beggar Press, Lucy Ellmann’s tome, Ducks, Newburyport has been receiving some brilliant reviews.

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‘… I dreamt last night about somebody complaining that he owned a “lesser Cézanne” while I was tearing heartshaped buttons off a shirt, and something about a ferret, the fact that my dreams have become more practical and less expansive, I think, since we got poorer, the fact that I should be swinging wild but instead my dreams are just about tidying the hen coop or unloading the dishwasher, or losing my address book, or I’m cooking noodles for everybody and Leo has a plane to catch in half an hour and there’s no taxi, or I find myself on a bicycle carrying a huge box, the fact that once I dreamt I ate one tiny piece of ham, and that was it, that was the whole dream, the fact that I dream all the wrong stuff and remember all the wrong stuff, what a goofball, “a genuine idiot,” the fact that why do I remember that Amish wool shop and not my mom, …’

Latticing one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks ’n’ beans?

A scorching indictment of America’s barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport  is a heresy, a wonder—and a revolution in the novel.

It’s also very, very funny.

Pick up a copy here!

Sony Pictures secures film rights to Thomas Taylor’s Malamander

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We’re really excited to share that Sony Pictures has secured the film rights for Thomas Taylor’s middle-grade novel Malamander for a “substantial” pre-empt, Walker Books has confirmed.

The production company struck the development rights with Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA Ltd.

Taylor signed a six-figure three-book deal for Malamander with Walker last year. Walker paid a six-figure sum for the trilogy and published the first title earlier this year. Rights sold in 12 territories before publication.

Taylor, who created the original cover for J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Bloomsbury), also illustrates the series.

Congratulations Thomas!

Isabella Tree's WILDING reaches shortlist for Wainwright Golden Beer Prize 2019

We’re very pleased to share that Isabella Tree’s Wilding, published by Picador, has reached the shortlist of the Wainwright Golden Beer Prize 2019.

Celebrating its sixth year, the Prize is awarded annually to the book which most successfully reflects the ethos of renowned nature writer Alfred Wainwright’s work, to inspire readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world.

“With our natural landscapes under increasing threat from the climate crisis, this is a crucial time to reconnect with nature,” the prize organisers said. “From personal journeys in wild places to rallying cries for change, the 2019 shortlist is essential reading in trying times.”

Wain Shortlist Face Out with SLST V2.jpg

The judging panel for the 2019 prize will be chaired, for the third year running, by TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Her fellow judges include Waterstones non-fiction buyer Clement Knox; National Trust publisher Katie Bond; publisher at Unbound and joint-host of the popular podcast Blacklisted, John Mitchinson; David Lindo otherwise known as The Urban Birder; and Anna Arnell, creative partner for agency And Rising.

Bradbury said: “Within challenging times and facing a climate crisis, British nature writing continues to blossom. The books that my fellow judges and I have shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize demonstrate the role that nature writing can play in shining a spotlight on wider social, environmental and personal issues.”

The prize is supported by White Lion Publishing, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, Wainwright Golden Beer, the Wainwright estate and in partnership with the National Trust the winner will receive a cheque for £5,000.

The winner will be announced on 15th August at an event in the National Trust Arena at BBC Countryfile Live at Castle Howard, Yorkshire. Good luck Issy!

Happy Publication Day Arundhati Roy

Seditious Pic.jpg

We would like to wish a very happy publication day to the fantastic Arundhati Roy whose new non-fiction title, My Seditious Heart is out to buy today from Hamish Hamilton.

Twenty years, a thousand pages, and now a single beautiful edition of Arundhati Roy's complete non-fiction.

My Seditious Heart collects the work of a two-decade period when Arundhati Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights and freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment. Taken together, these essays trace her twenty year journey from the Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things to the extraordinary The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: a journey marked by compassion, clarity and courage. Radical and readable, they speak always in defence of the collective, of the individual and of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military and governmental elites.

In constant conversation with the themes and settings of her novels, the essays form a near-unbroken memoir of Arundhati Roy's journey as both a writer and a citizen, of both India and the world, from 'The End of Imagination', which begins this book, to 'My Seditious Heart', with which it ends.
'Arundhati Roy is one of the most confident and original thinkers of our time' Naomi Klein

'The world has never had to face such global confusion. Only in facing it can we make sense of what we have to do. And this is precisely what Arundhati Roy does. She makes sense of what we have to do. Thereby offering an example. An example of what? Of being fully alive in our world, such as it is, and of getting close to and listening to those for whom this world has become intolerable' John Berger

Arundhati Roy at Hay Festival 2019

Arundhati Roy at Hay Festival 2019

'Arundhati Roy calls for 'factual precision' alongside of the 'real precision of poetry.' Remarkably, she
combines those achievements to a degree that few can hope to approach' Noam Chomsky

'Unflinching emotional as well as political intelligence... Lucid and probing insights on a range of matters, from crony capitalism and environmental depredation to the perils of nationalism and, in her most recent work, the insidiousness of the Hindu caste system. In an age of intellectual logrolling and mass-manufactured infotainment, she continues to offer bracing ways of seeing, thinking and feeling' TIME magazine

Make sure you pick up a copy, here!

Atlantic to publish Led By Donkeys

We’re so happy to share the news that Atlantic Books has acquired the official account of Twitter sensation 'Led By Donkeys', who exposed the hypocrisies of Brexit by publishing political leaders' tweets on advertising billboards around the country. 

Led By Donkeys will be published in hardback on 31st October 2019 - the day the UK is due to leave the EU. Atlantic m.d. and publisher Will Atkinson bought world rights from David Godwin here at DGA. 

The four men behind ‘Led By Donkeys’ – Ben Stewart, James Sadri, Oliver Knowles and Will Rose – revealed themselves last week, having registered with the Electoral Commission in order to be transparent about their funding.
 
"Led By Donkeys will be a visual, official account of how four ordinary people – with full-time jobs and young families – managed to expose the government’s hypocrisies in full-colour glory," said Atlantic. "Armed with nothing more than ladders, roller brushes and a treasure trove of damning statements from our leaders, the Led By Donkeys team slapped up the politicians’ biggest lies on billboards around the country."
 
The group, who have more than 240,000 Twitter followers, said: "We’re as surprised as anybody at how big this thing has become. We started off as a guerrilla outfit, going out at night after we’d put our kids to bed to put up giant posters of the Brexiteers’ hypocrisy. Ten weeks later we were hiring a helicopter to film us deploying an 800-square-metre crowd banner in Parliament Square. It’s been one of the greatest adventures of our lives and we’ve had to do it all in gaps between our day jobs and young kids. It’s a good story and we’re excited to tell it."
 
Atkinson added: "Over 16 million people voted Remain and their interests and wishes have been ignored ever since. The referendum was fought by mendacious populists on the Leave side and a lacklustre Remain establishment. Led By Donkeys is an inspiring counter-thrust for the 16 million, and I am delighted that this book will capture their story and mission in words and pictures."

Congratulations to all involved!