It’s been 2 weeks today since the publication of Sharon Bala‘s THE BOAT PEOPLE (McClelland & Stewart Canada, Doubleday Books US) and it has been received with overwhelming enthusiasm. We’re starting this week with fresh news and reviews of this striking debut novel, including being selected as an iBooks Best Books of the Month!
“Bala displays her talent as a compassionate, reflective author…This is a work of fiction, but it’s so very real…Ultimately, this is a novel comprised of both beautiful and uncomfortable truths, written by an author who understands there are multiple sides to every issue – and to every human being…Bala has vividly conjured worlds, both on Canadian soil and back in Sri Lanka, that show the dualities of living in any country…What we also get from a novel like this is a new way of seeing.”
-The Globe and Mail
“Cinematic details transport us to a tension-rich drama. Bala moves fluidly from past to present, mixing memories with current crises…juxtapositions build and maintain suspense all the way to the last line, where readers are left hanging, as if justice is in our hands…The Boat People reminds us of the fragile nature of truth.”
The Sunday Edition: Cbc.ca/thesundayedition/new-novel-about-tamil-asylum-seekers-reveals-canada-s-split-personality-about-refugees
Associate Agent Stephanie Sinclair has been promoted to Senior Agent and will oversee international rights sales for clients represented by Samantha Haywood. Sinclair joined Transatlantic in 2012. She has been an Associate Agent for five years, while also working as Samantha Haywood’s Executive Assistant, a role she left last Spring. In addition to becoming a Senior Agent, she will take on the role of International Rights Manager for Samantha Haywood’s author and corporate clients. Haywood will continue to work exclusively with her authors in the North American markets and for TV/film and will oversee the strategy for their international sales. Haywood’s client list includes Iain Reid, Zoe Whittall, and publisher client Drawn & Quarterly.
Page Two, a private corporate client owned and operated by Transatlantic agents Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White have also hired Sinclair to oversee international sales for select clients.
Within her own list, Sinclair represents writers of award-winning fiction and nonfiction including Journey Prize winner Sharon Bala’s THE BOAT PEOPLE and the Indigenous writers Harold Johnson and Billy Ray Belcourt. She co-represents (along with Haywood) CURRY author Naben Ruthnum/Nathan Ripley and Alicia Elliott.
Said Haywood, “Stephanie is an excellent agent and a tireless promoter of our authors. She has great literary instincts and is a pleasure to have in the team. I have confidence we will continue to work well together on my client’s international rights deals.”
Transatlantic Agency is the largest literary agency in North America with experienced agents in both the United States and Canada actively covering adult and children’s books in every market and a growing Speakers Division. Transatlantic has 13 literary agents located in the US and Canada representing over 350 clients. Founded more than 20 years ago, Transatlantic is a vibrant collective of tenacious, independent, publishing professionals with diverse backgrounds and specialties.
For more information contact: Samantha Haywood at email@example.com.
We’re overjoyed to announce that Sharon Bala‘s THE BOAT PEOPLE has been longlisted for Canada Reads 2018! Canada Reads is an annual contest in which five Canadian celebrity panellists champion a chosen work of Canadian fiction based on the novel’s literary qualities. The debates are broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC-TV and can be live streamed at Cbcbooks.ca. Books are voted off by the panellists until one book is chosen as the title the entire country should read.
THE BOAT PEOPLE follows a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage only to face the threat of deportation amid accusations of terrorism. This striking and important debut novel published with McClelland & Stewart Canada on January 2nd and publishes with Doubleday US on January 9th – pre and post-publication this novel continues to make waves.
THE BOAT PEOPLE has been selected for Penguin Random House’s prestigious ONE WORLD, ONE BOOK campaign, has been selected as an Amazon.com book of the month and has garnered rave pre-publication praise we’re proud to share below.
The shortlist for Canada Reads 2018 will be announced on January 30th. For the full longlist, please visit Cbc.ca/books/canadareads2018longlist.
Congratulations, Sharon, on this well-deserved achievement!
Pre-publication Praise for THE BOAT PEOPLE
“Timely and engrossing…This is a powerful debut.”
“This earnest debut novel forcefully explores the issues surrounding immigration…deeply moving and nuanced, The Boat People asks what price a country is willing to pay when public safety comes at the cost of human lives.”
“A real ship of refugees inspires a novel about the messy consequences of war Memorable…Chilling…”
“The Boat People will – and should… – linger long in the mind as an almost Graham-Greene-esque thriller about Canada’s Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. Homeric in her narrative arc, Bala’s novel is rhetorically purposive – but poetically, softly rhetorical…Bala is ahead by a century in the cricket score of politically powerful contemporary fiction.”
–Atlantic Books Today
“In this moving novel, hundreds of Sri Lankan refugees make a dangerous voyage to seek asylum in Canada. The threat of deportation soon follows their arrival, sparking questions about compassion and humanity and identity—identity, in all its transformative complexities.”
“A sharp examination of the global refugee crisis from both human and bureaucratic perspectives.”
“The Boat People tackles a subject that we all should be thinking about and working on, together, today.”
“The Boat People is a powerful, gripping moral drama told with deep compassion and humanity. Sharon Bala takes us behind the headlines about refugees and asylum seekers straight into the beating hearts of unforgettable human beings. A timely tale and a beautiful, remarkable debut.”
-Lynne Kutsukake, author of The Translation of Love
“This wise and compassionate novel is an intimate portrait of one of the great humanitarian crises of our time. Its power lies in its breadth, for it examines not just those who come to our country seeking refuge, but also those who determine their fate. As such it implicates us all in the ongoing crisis.”
-Shyam Selvadurai, author of The Hungry Ghosts and Funny Boy
“The Boat People is a beautifully crafted story with a big heart. This novel has an urgency and relevance that cuts to the bone and will resonate with readers of all stripes. Bala offers no easy answers and no political posturing, but her magnificent storytelling will leave readers wondering about their own convictions, asking themselves, ‘What would I do? What would I have done?’ I love this book and, somehow, I empathized and understood every character’s motivation and heart, despite their seemingly opposing stances. The spirits of Bala’s complicated, well-developed characters will linger with you like ghosts; you will look for them in the newspaper, on the evening news, everywhere, and when you encounter them, you will pause and wonder, not only about them but about yourself.”
-Michel Stone, author of Border Child
“The Boat People is a burning flare of a novel, at once incendiary and illuminating. With a rare combination of precision, empathy and insight, Sharon Bala has crafted an unflinching examination of what happens when the fundamental human need for safety collides with the cold calculus of bureaucracy. In the best tradition of fearless literature, it shatters our comfortable illusions about who we really are and reveals just how asymmetrical the privilege of belonging can be. This is a brilliant debut – a story that needs to be told, told beautifully.”
-Omar El Akkad, author of American War
The campaign supports the selected title to the highest level to ensure the book is celebrated worldwide.