COVER REVEAL! WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE by Samra Habib

We are so proud to reveal the cover of Samra Habib’s queer muslim memoir! Read the full description from Viking Canada below.

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?

Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger.

When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space — in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit — became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved.

So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s truest self.

DEAL NEWS: HARPERCOLLINS ACQUIRES SAMRA ZAFAR’S A GOOD WIFE

We are so pleased to share this fantastic announcement! Kate Cassaday, executive editor at HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, has acquired ­­­English-language rights in Canada to a memoir by international speaker and human rights activist Samra Zafar. Zafar’s book, A Good Wife, will be published in spring 2019. Samra Zafar’s book deal was brokered by Samantha Haywood, literary agent and president of Transatlantic Agency, and Stephanie Sinclair, senior agent. Cassaday said of the acquisition, “From the first moment I met Samra, I knew that I wanted to share her powerful story. Every page of this important memoir is guided by Samra’s strength and humanity.”

At fifteen, Samra Zafar had big dreams. She was going to go to university and forge her own path. Then, with almost no warning, those dreams were snatched away from her. She was suddenly married to a stranger at seventeen and had to leave behind her family in Pakistan to move to Canada. Her new husband and his family promised that the marriage and the move would be a fulfillment of her dreams, not a betrayal of them. But as the walls of their home slowly became a prison, Samra realized the promises were empty ones.

Desperate to get out and refusing to give up, Samra hatched an escape plan for herself and her two daughters. Somehow, she found the strength not only to build a new future but to walk away from her past, ignoring the pleas of her family and risking cultural isolation by divorcing her husband.

A Good Wife tells the harrowing and inspiring story of a young girl with big dreams, becoming a woman who has found strength in the face of oppression and battled through to empowerment. Samra said of the decision to share her story, “I decided to speak up because I knew my story is not just mine. I hope that by raising my voice, I will help others find their voices. I’m grateful to the wonderful team at Transatlantic Agency and HarperCollins for making that happen!”

Samra’s personal essay on her marriage, published in Toronto Life magazine, went viral in 2017, and her piece on Yahoo! News has been viewed more than 12 million times worldwide. She is an international speaker, social entrepreneur, scholar, author, and human rights activist, connecting with people around the world and empowering others through her advocacy and non-profit work. She also serves as a governor for the University of Toronto. Samra’s free time is dedicated to her two beautiful daughters.

(Full press release.)

Deal News: My Year of Living Spiritually by Anne Bokma

Anna Comfort O’Keeffe, managing editor at Douglas & McIntyre, has acquired English rights in Canada and the United States to Anne Bokma’s debut nonfiction book, My Year of Living Spiritually: One Woman’s Secular Search for a More Soulful Life.

Anne Bokma is an award-winning writer and editor from Hamilton, Ontario who has been honoured with more than two dozen journalism awards throughout her 30-year career. A long-time contributor to the United Church Observer, the national magazine of  Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, Anne has been the monthly “Spiritual But Secular” columnist (http://annebokma.com/) for the past four years, reporting on the habits of the growing demographic known as the Spiritual-But-Not Religious (SBNR).

My Year of Living Spiritually is based on her blog of the same name, which appeared biweekly in the Observer in 2017. It is scheduled for publication in fall 2019.

Anne Bokma is represented by Amy Tompkins.

Praise for HOME ICE by Angie Abdou

The praise is piling as high as autumn leaves for Angie Abdou’s HOME ICE (ECW Press).

HOME ICE chronicles and illuminates a full season in the life of a hockey parent, offering a nuanced and unflinching self-portrait of a mother dedicated to supporting her son’s passion for amateur hockey but struggling with ambivalence over our society’s often troubling sport culture and its impact on her family.

Here’s what everyone is saying about HOME ICE:

“The author brings a novelist’s eye to the story, telling it in first-person present tense; with its sharp characterizations and dialogue in place of autobiographical exposition, the book is a first-rate memoir and a fine example of narrative nonfiction. It’s also a must-read for parents with youngsters who play organized sports.” –Booklist, starred review

“This is a lively, honestly written account of parenting that will resonate with readers who are fully involved in their children’s sports.” –Publishers Weekly

“Home Ice is page-turning and compelling in a whole different way. It’s about Abdou, her family, her relationships with her husband and two children, and her role as a parent; or, as Abdou said, consider it a ‘voyeuristic peek into the writer’s life.’” –Society for International Hockey Research

“You don’t get to pick your kids’ marriages or their sports, and he wants to play hockey.” – CBC Radio Sunday Edition

“It’s a unflinching and revealing account of the toll sports (especially hockey) can take on family dynamics and fortunes.” – CBC Radio Daybreak Alberta (19 min audio clip)

CTV’s The Social (11 min video clip)

“As much as Home Ice skewers Canadian hockey for its escalating costs and obsession with competitiveness, that criticism is balanced by an athlete’s appreciation for the heady benefits of training hard and excelling in a sport.” –Active For Life

“[T]his is a memoir told with humility, and throughout the book, Abdou lets her happy and sensitive son shine through. We see his sense of fairness and justice, his quirky stick-handling, his love for the rowdy speed and sweaty camaraderie of the sport.” –

University of Texas Arlington Sports Literature Association

“…she leaves the reader with as much knowledge and information on both sides of the coin to allow the reader to make a decision on the game’s safety rather than her imposing her decision onto the reader. One gets a sense that Miss Abdou did this with intent, and I feel it really opens the door to thoughtful and intelligent debate…” –Hockey Blog In Canada

About the Author:

Angie Abdou has published four books, including three novels: The Bone Cage (a CBC Canada Reads finalist in 2011), The Canterbury Trail (a Banff Mountain Book finalist in 2011) and Between (2014, Arsenal Press). Angie is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University. Her nonfiction has appeared in various magazines and newspapers, including National Post and Elle Magazine. Her novel IN CASE I GO launched with Arsenal Pulp Press Fall 2017.

DEAL NEWS: THE DYNAMITE KID BY TYLER ENFIELD

Bethany Gibson, fiction editor at Goose Lane Editions, has acquired English Canada and World French rights for Tyler Enfield’s dazzling sophomore novel, The Dynamite Kid.

Enfield is an Edmonton-based writer and photographer. He is the author of Madder Carmine (Great Plains Publications, 2015), which won the 2016 High Plains Book Award, and was a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Prize.

The Dynamite Kid is an offbeat, slightly magical and entirely original retelling of Aladdin as an American western – a rich combination of classic love story, a quest novel, and a tribute to boyhood enthusiasm.  While not as esoteric as Gary Barwin’s Yiddish for Pirates, it portrays an equally unique and magical landscape.

Tyler Enfield is represented by Shaun Bradley.

Cover Reveal: THE LAST RESORT by Marissa Stapley

It may be fall but this gorgeous cover has us eager for summer! Add THE LAST RESORT (Simon and Schuster Canada, Graydon House) by Marissa Stapley to your reading list for June 2019.

The Last Resort Marissa StapleyFrom bestselling author Marissa Stapley comes a gripping novel about marriage, loyalty, and the deadly secrets that unravel over the course of a two-week couples’ therapy retreat in Mexico.

Miles Markell is missing, and everyone is a suspect.

To the guests at The Harmony Resort, Doctors Miles and Grace Markell appear to be a perfect power couple. They run a couples’ therapy retreat in a luxurious resort in the Mayan Riviera where they help spouses deal with their marriage struggles.

Johanna and Ben’s relationship looks great on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly—Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second.But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony’s intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all that it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out their secrets?

As a powerful hurricane descends on the coast, trapping both the hosts and their guests, confidences are revealed, loyalties are tested, and not one single person—or marriage—will ever be the same.

A gripping exploration of relationships and trust, The Last Resort is a propulsive read about all the big truths we hide, even from ourselves.

Deal News from Frankfurt Book Fair 2018

We are thrilled to share the following deals that Stephanie Sinclair & Samantha Haywood accepted at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week!

Polish rights to RADIANT SHIMMERING LIGHT by Sarah Selecky to Wizard Media Limited by Book/Lab in association with Stephanie Sinclair of the Transatlantic Agency on behalf of Samantha Haywood.

Complex Chinese rights to I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid to Faces by The Grayhawk Agency in association with Stephanie Sinclair of the Transatlantic Agency on behalf of Samantha Haywood.

French rights to FOE by Iain Reid to Presses de la Cite by the Anna Jarota Agency in association with Stephanie Sinclair of the Transatlantic Agency on behalf of Samantha Haywood

DEAL NEWS: PING by Ani Castillo

Megan Tingley at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired, in a preempt, world rights to three works by debut author-illustrator Ani Castillo, launching with PING, a picture book that movingly and humorously explores the challenges and joys of self-expression and social connection. Publication is planned for Fall 2019, the deal was brokered by Samantha Haywood and Amy Tompkins at Transatlantic Agency.

In the era of social media, this wise and timely book about the fragile art of personal connection will strike a chord with readers of all ages

With the visual ingenuity of Press Here and the emotional resonance of What Do you Do with a Problem? this picture book debut explores the challenges and joys of self-expression and social connection. Using an imaginative visual metaphor to bring to life how we send out (ping!) and receive (pong!) communications, feelings, and ideas, Ani Castillo’s words and pictures combine to create an empowering, inspiring message for anyone who has experienced fear of meeting new people, sharing opinions, and expressing emotion. Fans of Peter Reynolds and Todd Parr will appreciate this positive message delivered in an artful, child-friendly package.

THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE is Target’s September Book Club Pick

Zoe Whittall’s THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE is having the best kind of September! Just this month, the US paperback edition published with a whole new cover and was chosen as Target’s September Book Club Pick.

That’s in addition to being a National Bestseller, a 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, a National Post 99 Best Books of the Year, a Indigo Best Book of the Year and Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016.

Read an excerpt of The Best Kind of People; you’ll be piling on the praise and accolades too.

 

Praise:

The Best Kind of People gets into the hearts and minds of an ordinary family forced to confront the monstrous. This novel is a timely discussion of what we owe those who abuse and those who are targeted in our communities.”—Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman
 
“I am obsessed with this book.”—Samantha Irby, author of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life

“In our post–Harvey Weinstein world [this book] feels more timely and urgent than ever. . . . It draws an elegant line between rape culture, patriarchy, and privilege.”—Claire Cameron, The Millions
 
The Best Kind of People examines the effects of rape culture on an entire community with rare nuance and insight. Every character is fully rounded, flawed, and achingly human. It puts me in mind of a twenty-first-century Ordinary People.”—Kate Harding, author of Asking for It
 
“Sure to provoke debate and send book discussion groups into overtime.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“A powerful page-turner.”—Cosmopolitan

“A gripping novel, one that shines a light on family dynamics under extreme pressure.”—The Vancouver Sun

“Zoe Whittall’s undisputed talent as a writer shines, as does her understanding into the complexity of our sympathies, our morality, and our humanity. With incredible empathy and undeniable skill this book is sure to spark much-needed dialogue, vital debate, and richly deserved acclaim.”—Stacey May Fowles, author of Infidelity

“Flawless…Whittall overturns the typical cultural narrative…This may just be Whittall’s breakout novel, and deservedly so.”—The Winnipeg Review

“Taut, compassionate and clever.”—Toronto Star

“If you are looking for a mystery to grip you this fall, pick up Whittall’s The Best Kind of People.” – Indiana Daily Student – idsnews http://www.idsnews.com/article/2017/08/ent-columnbook

“A humane, clear-eyed attempt to explore the ripple effects of sexual crime.” –Kirkus Reviews

Congratulations to Ottawa Book Awards Finalists Nina Berkhout and Joanne Proulx

Double the congratulations today as we celebrate two authors shortlisted for this year’s Ottawa Book Awards under English Fiction – Nina Berkhout’s THE MOSAIC (Groundwood Books) and Joanne Proulx’s WE ALL LOVE THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS (Penguin Random House Canada)! These annual awards recognize outstanding English and French books published in the past year by local authors. The winners of each category will be announced on October 17 at a ceremony at Ottawa City Hall. For more information about the awards and the full list of finalists, please visit https://ottawa.ca/en/news/city-announces-2018-ottawa-book-awards-and-prix-du-livre-dottawa-finalists