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


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”

“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”

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.


‘… 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


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.”

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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

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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!

Coronet buys McGee's 'brilliant' take on the cost of love

Coronet has bought a “brilliant and unique” take on failed romantic relationships by DGA client Haley McGee, who uses a mathematical formula to work out the cost of love.

Publisher Hannah Black bought UK Commonwealth rights for The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale from Kirsty McLachlan. It will be published in 2021.

The publisher explained: “This first-hand account is a rallying cry for anyone who’s come out of a breakup wondering, Was the love worth all this pain? Was the investment of time/money/hours spent with them/their dull family worth the bliss? And, should I do it again?  Such is the author’s determination to figure out what our failed romantic relationships are really worth, she enlists the help of a mathematician and devises a formula complete with 52 variables – from market value to how much you laughed versus how you argued – that turns sentimental value into cold hard cash.”

McGee is a performer, writer and actress who has taken her self-penned solo shows to to 36 venues in 11 countries. The show on which her book is based played to sold out audiences in London and Toronto.

McGee said: “I’m so excited to bring my first book into the world. I’m thrilled to be included among Coronet’s roster of excellent authors and to be working with Hannah, a sensitive and smart editor, who understood my story and clicked with my offbeat sense of humour immediately.”

Black added: “We’re delighted to be publishing Haley’s brilliant and unique take on romantic love. Clever, engaging and very funny, her journey asks us to question the value not just of our relationships, but of ourselves.”

Debut author triumphs with Children’s Books Ireland awards hat-trick

DGA is delighted that our author Kelly McCaughrain has won a trio of prizes at the Children’s Books Ireland awards—a first in the 29 year history of the prize.

McCaughrain has won the CBI Book of the Year Award with Flying Tips for Flightless Birds (Walker) at a ceremony held today at Smock Alley Theatre and also bagged the Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book and the Children’s Choice Award. 

Of the winning title the award judges said: "From the high wire of the Big Top to the high wire of teenage sexuality, this warm and funny story of adolescence is a delight to read. It explores family, friendship and first love with an authenticity that is both engaging and emotionally satisfying. Through the eyes of the two main characters – one through very clever use of a blog – we learn the pros and cons of being different and of managing life in the margins."

Firefly Press lands Jennifer Killick's midgrade sci-fi horror

Firefly Press has landed a “scary and heart-warming” middle grade sci-fi horror by Jennifer Killick.

We are delighted that publisher Penny Thomas acquired world rights in Crater Lake from Kirsty McLachlan.

The synopsis explains: “When Lance and the rest of his class arrive at brand-new activity centre Crater Lake for the Year Six school trip, they have no idea just how life-changing the experience is going to be. What follows is a fight for survival that sees four pupils band together to save their classmates from a fate far worse than death. And whatever happens, they must never fall asleep.”

Killick is the author of MG superhero comedy series Alex Sparrow and sci-fi comedy Mo, Lottie and the Junkers (Firefly). A third in the Alex Sparrow series, Christmas comedy Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse (Firefly) is published this September.

Thomas said: “Jennifer Killick is a tour de force. Her comic writing for 9-12s, her grasp of dialogue, her sense of the absurdly surreal, and most importantly her deeply empathetic writing for this age group, take some beating. She also excels at inspiring events for school pupils and deserves to be a household name.

“We love Crater Lake. It manages to be scary and heart-warming at the same time, and should be available in all good bookshops and talked about, albeit in whispers, in every Year Six home.”

Canongate to publish Kerri ni Dochartaigh's debut book, Thin Places

Canongate has secured the first book by Northern Irish nature writer and essayist Kerri ní Dochartaigh following a six-way auction.

Commissioning editor Jo Dingley acquired world rights to Thin Places excluding North America and including audio, from Kirsty McLachlan at David Godwin Associates. The book will be published in Spring 2021.

The publisher said: “Kerri ní Dochartaigh was born in Derry at the height of the Troubles, to a mixed-religion teenage couple. As a result, her childhood was one of trauma and violence – not least when, aged eleven, a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. The ‘thin places’, spaces in nature where it feels as though anything is possible, were what saved Kerri in this period – and continue to do so now.”

Thin Places combines memoir, history, nature writing and political commentary. Canongate said it “explores how nature comforted her and helped her heal; how violence and poverty are never more than a stone’s throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our thin places to become solid, our borders to become hard and violence to creep back in”.

ní Dochartaigh has won a variety of awards, including the 2016 Mark Avery Wildlife and Politics Prize, and writes about nature, literature and place for publications which include Caught By The River, New Welsh Review and the London Magazine

She said: “This story is one about crossing borders, of courage and hope; it speaks of things once thought unnameable. Canongate are a brave, dedicated and deeply inspiring publisher. More than that, though, they are a group of humans who want the right words to make their way into our world; and that is a truly special thing indeed. Jo’s understanding of this story, coupled with her commitment to its delicate telling, made it very clear she is the editor for this book. I am incredibly grateful for the chance to work alongside this team.”

Dingley says: “Kerri is an exceptionally talented and sensitive writer with a unique way of seeing the world – always finding the beauty in it. Hers is a story with many moments of darkness, but it is ultimately about compassion, acceptance and hope. With the recent horrifying and tragic events in Derry, there can be no doubt that we need writers like Kerri more than we ever have.”

Simon Armitage to be next Poet Laureate

We are thrilled to share that one of DGA’s oldest clients, Simon Armitage, has been appointed to be the next Poet Laureate by Her Majesty The Queen. Simon will succeed Dame Carol Ann Duffy, who has served in the role between 2009 and 2019. He will continue in the post for the next ten years.

A Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds, Simon has published 28 collections of poetry. His work has been studied by millions of children as part of the national curriculum and in 2010 he received a CBE for services to poetry.

He now becomes the 21st UK Poet Laureate.

Simon was born in Marsden, West Yorkshire, in 1963 and worked as a Probation Officer in Greater Manchester until 1994 before focusing on poetry. He was elected to serve as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford from 2015 until 2019 and is also the Holmes Visiting Professor at Princeton University, New Jersey, United States of America.

In 2012, as part of the celebrations of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Simon conceived and curated the Poetry Parnassus, a gathering of world poets and poetry from every Olympic and Paralympic nation, which was the largest gathering of international poets in history. Simon also received The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry for the year 2018, awarded for excellence in poetry, on the basis of his body of work.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

I’m delighted Simon Armitage has been appointed the UK’s new Poet Laureate.

As one of our most popular and respected poets, Simon brings a wealth of expertise and experience to this important role. He is well placed to attract even more people into the literary world, and further enhance our nation’s proud tradition of producing exceptional poetry.

I would also like to thank Dame Carol Ann Duffy for her work over the last decade - championing literature, showcasing other poets’ contributions, and marking significant national moments through her outstanding poetry.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage said:

It’s a huge honour to be appointed Poet Laureate, one of the great high offices of literature. Over the past two decades the laureateship has become a working role, with previous laureates actively involved in the promotion of poetry and in numerous initiatives to identify and encourage talent, especially within education and among younger writers; I hope to build on the work of my predecessors with energy and enthusiasm.

Since the laureateship was first conceived many hundreds of years ago Britain has changed enormously and the position of Poet Laureate has changed accordingly - I want to celebrate and speak on behalf of the variety of voices who contribute to the rich chorus of British poetry from a wide range of personal, literary and cultural experiences, and to help poetry explore its potential in a multi-faceted, multi-vocal and multi-media age.

The poetry of these islands is one of our greatest achievements, and as well as being proud of its traditions I want poetry to feel confident and at home in the contemporary world and to demonstrate that in a hectic and sometimes frenetic age the combination of considered thought and crafted language is more relevant and vital than ever. I hope poets, readers and audiences will support me in my efforts.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said:

Simon Armitage is one of the UK’s foremost poets, whose witty and profound take on modern life is known and respected across the world. He has done so much to promote poetry, and I am sure he will use the Laureateship to continue this work.

He is a very worthy successor to Dame Carol Ann Duffy, who championed the importance of poetry over the past 10 years and made the position relatable to people across the country. I congratulate Simon on his appointment to this historic role.

The honorary Royal title of Poet Laureate is awarded to a poet whose work is of national significance. The UK’s first Poet Laureate by Royal appointment was John Dryden who was given the title by King Charles II in 1668.

Previous Poet Laureates have included William Wordsworth, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, John Betjeman and Ted Hughes. UK Poet Laureates initially served until their death until the rules were changed in 1999 to give more poets the opportunity to hold the position.

The steering group, appointed by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright to select the new Poet Laureate praised Simon Armitage’s outstanding contribution to poetry over the course of his career.

Congratulations, Simon!

DGA welcomes the Towpath Cafe

Wishing a very warm welcome to Lori De Mori and Laura Jackson of Towpath Cafe, Regents Canal, who have joined DGA as clients. We’re so excited to be working with them. Here’s more from the Towpath crew themselves -

“A lot has changed since Towpath first rolled up its shutters 10 years ago on the Regent’s Canal in Hackney and everything but the toasted cheese sandwich was cooked from home across the bridge. And a lot hasn’t.  It is still as much a social experiment as a unique and beloved eatery.  What happens when seasonality means you close every year in November, because England’s cold, dark winters are simply inhospitable to hospitality from a little perch beside a shallow, manmade waterway that snakes through East London?  What if you don’t offer takeaway coffees in the hopes that people will decide to stay awhile and watch the coots skittering across the water?  If you don’t have a phone or a website, because you’d rather people just show up like (hungry) kids at a playground?

We are working on TOWPATH, a collection of recipes, stories and photographs capturing its food, community and place throughout the arc of its season—beginning just before the first breath of spring, through the dog days of summer and culminating—with fireworks!—before its painted shutters are rolled down again for winter.”

Laura Jackson cooked at Rochelle Canteen and at the Auberge de Chassingnoles in France before coming to Towpath. She’s drawn chefs like Rosie Sykes, Davo Cook and Rachel O’Sullivan to cook with her in Towpath’s kitchen. Her food is seasonal, honest, unfussy and comforting—and so delicious people have been known to come for breakfast and stay through lunch. She delights in making everything from pickles to ice cream herself. And takes her inspiration where she finds it—so long as it’s about making the ingredients shine. 

Lori De Mori is the author of four books about Italian cooking and food culture. Her writing has appeared in the Best Food Writing Anthology, Gourmet, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, the Independent, the Telegraph, Olive and elsewhere. Her last book, Beaneaters & Bread Soup Quadrille (2007), was shortlisted for both the Guild of Food Writers and the André Simon Food Book of the Year.  This is her first book about one of her own culinary adventures.

Isabella Tree's WILDING hits number 1

Wilding  was Waterstones Non-fiction book of the month for April 2019

Wilding was Waterstones Non-fiction book of the month for April 2019

We’re so pleased to share the news that Isabella Tree’s Wilding has reached number 1 in The Times paperback non-fiction chart, having fought off stiff competition from The BBC Proms Festival Guide, The Secret Barrister and Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt. Congratulations Issy!

'A passionately personal, robustly argued and uplifting book . . . One of the landmark ecological books of the decade.' Sunday Times 'Books of the Year'

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp 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.

Extremely rare 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.

Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.

This must be the most inspirational nature book of the year . . . a narrative of conservation, courage, vision and miracles... The story of what happened is thrilling . . . the Knepp Conservation Project is world-famous: a beacon of hope . . . Read this book and marvel.

Bel Mooney, 'The Year's Best Books on Nature' - Daily Mail

Particularly timely . . . an excellent primer, and anyone who is interested in how we share the planet — what it looks like, what we eat, and what nature can teach us — should read this book.

Sunday Times

A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope.

Chris Packham, presenter of The Really Wild Show

Canongate aquires second title from Alistair Moffat


Canongate will publish Scottish writer Alistair Moffat’s exploration of the tidal island of Lindisfarne, To the Island of Tides.

Simon Thorogood, editorial director at Canongate, signed a deal for world rights from David Godwin here at DGA.

In To the Island of Tides, Moffat travels to - and through the history of – the island of Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of England, which is in the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumberland.

“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,” the synopsis reads.

“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 monasteries. Today the isle maintains its position as a space for retreat and spiritual renewal.”

Canongate published Moffat’s previous book, The Hidden Ways, which was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards and was a Waterstones Scotland Book of the Month.

Thorogood said: “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.”

Moffat said: “Writing this book was a transformative experience. The business of putting one foot in front of another made the landscape and its story come alive in ways I could never have imagined. It was as though the ghosts of the long past walked beside me,  whispering their stories."

He added: "This journey with Cuthbert, following the rivers, across the bleak moorland and under the big skies of the north, took me to the heart of his sanctity, to Lindisfarne and all its transcendent glories – and it it changed me.”

Happy Publication day to Julian & Marcus Sedgwick


Wishing a very Happy Publication Day to Marcus and Julian Sedgwick - the incredible Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black is available to buy today. The graphic novel is co-authored by Marcus and Julian with beautiful illustrations from Alexis Deacon and published by Walker Books.

A lyrical and dreamlike story of two brothers in conflict amidst the devastation of WWII London.

Harry Black wakes in hospital to learn that his brother Ellis has almost certainly been killed by a V2 rocket falling during a German air raid on London. In a state of wounded delirium, Harry’s mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of the war-torn city, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry discharges himself from hospital and begins a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city’s Underworld...

Pick up a copy today!

Happy Publication Day to Thomas Taylor


We’re so pleased to be wishing Thomas Taylor whose debut, Malamander is out today from Walker Books.

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger...

Pick up a copy today!

Praise for Malamander

'…a wonderfully imaginative and atmospheric adventure, rich in myth and legend and with a delicious gothic edge… Taylor is best known as an illustrator – he famously created the original jacket for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – but Malamander confirms him as a ferociously talented writer… this really is one that deserves all the buzz.' The Bookseller, Children's Book of the Month

'I was steeped in the briny world of the Malamander from the very first page. Set in Eerie on Sea, where mythical beasts to walk the misty shores, Thomas Taylor introduces us to a wonderful pair of detectives - Herbie and Violet – with a riddle to solve. This is fantastical storytelling at it’s best with a Dickensian cast and a terrifying beast from the deep. This enthralling oceanic adventure had me hoping our heroic lost and foundlings will have more mysteries to solve in books to come. I wanted to read on and on.' M. G. Leonard, Author of Beetle Boy

'Full of unforgettable characters and brimming with maritime mystery, Malamander is a masterclass in original story-telling. Taylor's magical touch makes you believe in the impossible.' Catherine Doyle, author of The Storm Keeper's Island

'Mermonkeys, monsters and magic, oh my! Malamander is a brilliantly plotted mystery swirling with secrets, myths and the enigmatic residents of one unforgettable sea-side town.' Jennifer Bell, author of The Uncommoners

'“Gripping, magical with shivers down your spine in all the right places, fiercely imaginative and darkly funny; just read it.”' Fallen Star Stories

Happy Publication day to David Coubrough


Wishing a happy publication day to David Coubrough, whose novel, Death in Deia is out today from Galileo Publishers.

Deia is a small and idyllic village on the north-west coast of Mallorca, made famous by being the home of Robert Graves for much of his life, but subsequently becoming a magnet for artists, authors and film stars (and latterly a location in the BBC thriller series, The Night Manager). But in this fast moving crime novel, it also becomes the centrepiece for a series of murders connected to the embezzlement of an extraordinary £100 million fortune ...

When the multi-millionaire Ken Stone dies, one of his three daughters inherits his massive estate and disappears to Mallorca. Several years later, Grant Morrison, a family friend goes in search of the missing daughter: however before he can discover the truth behind how this fortune had somehow eluded other members of the family, his life comes to a very violent end. The discovery of a huge and dangerous web of deceit enveloping the whole family follows Grant’s death. And his death is not the first ...

The action reaches its denouement later the same year in a large Suffolk mansion when surviving members of the fractured family meet for a Christmas reunion. Late on Christmas Eve a most unexpected visitor also returns.

The author, David Coubrough, co-founded the specialist hospitality firm Portfolio Recruitment in the 1980s, and became its chief executive. He has been company director and member of the board of governors of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and chairman of Bespoke Hotels. He is the owner of Maldon Sea Salt as well as the Beehive pub and restaurant in Berkshire.

His debut novel Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice was published by Peter Owen in 2016.

Buy Death in Deia here.