Welcoming Chelene Knight!

We’re beyond thrilled to welcome award-winning author Chelene Knight to Transatlantic Agency!

Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter.

The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” In addition to her work as a writer, Knight is managing editor at Room, programming director for the Growing Room Festival, and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling.

Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming with Book*hug. She was selected as a 2019 Writers’ Trust Rising Star by David Chariandy.

Knight is represented by Samantha Haywood.


World English rights to multi-award nominated author Emily Urquhart‘s ORDINARY WONDER TALES: Essays on Belief, a collection of 13 essays that weave personal narratives into larger explorations of belief, ranging from religious convictions to fairy and ghost encounters to the perceptions we hold of women’s creative ambition, sold to Dan Wells at Biblioasis for 2021/2022 publication by Samantha Haywood.

Ivy Knight shortlisted for this year’s Landsberg Award

Congratulations to Ivy Knight, who, along with co-journalist Ann Hui, has been shortlisted for this year’s Landsberg Award! This annual award celebrates a journalist who provides greater profile to women’s equality issues. Ivy and Ann are nominated for their six month investigation for the Globe & Mail into allegations of sexual misconduct by the winemaker Norman Hardie.

From jury member Rachel Giese: ”This year’s submissions revealed a tremendous depth and breadth of reporting on issues of gender equality from journalists working in every type of media and format and representing a span of generations. Their work was sharp, serious, poignant and fearless.”

The winner will be announced at the annual CJF Awards on June 13 in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York. For more information about the award and a full list of nominees, please visit cjf-fjc.ca/awards/landsberg-award.

Eric Walters’ THE ELEPHANT SECRET shortlisted for this year’s Sunshine State Young Readers Award Program!

Congratulations to Eric WaltersELEPHANT SECRET (Clarion), which has been shortlisted for this year’s Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) Program!

The SSYRA is a statewide reading motivational program and the Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation.

For more information about the award and a full list of shortlisted titles, please visit www.floridamediaed.org/ssyra.

DEAL NEWS: Michelle Parise‘s ALONE: A Love Story

World rights to Michelle Parise‘s ALONE: A Love Story – the inspiration for her hit international podcast (with over 7 million listeners and counting), which tells her life story and is a love story that is not afraid to unpack breakup and infidelity and how utterly devastating and endless its recovery can be; with empowering honesty, Michelle takes the reader on her winding journey from lust to heartbreak, through loneliness and despair, to eventually finding the courage to face the question mark of life, alone – sold to Kathryn Lane, Dundurn by Samantha Haywood. Film/TV rights previously sold to Sienna Films. Contact: Samantha Haywood, samantha@transatlanticagency.com.

Happy book birthday to Naben Ruthnum’s, writhing as Nathan Ripley, YOUR LIFE IS MINE

Happy book birthday to Naben Ruthnum’s, writing as Nathan Ripley, YOUR LIFE IS MINE, published with Simon and Schuster!

This absolute page-turner about a woman whose notorious father died when she was a child, but whose legacy comes back to haunt her, follows the instant bestselling success of Naben’s debut, FIND YOU IN THE DARK.

From the publisher:
“Blanche Potter never expected to face her past again—but she can’t escape it.

Blanche, an up-and-coming filmmaker, has distanced herself in every way she can from her father, the notorious killer and cult leader, Chuck Varner. In 1996, when she was a small child, he went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself.

Now, Blanche learns that her mother has been murdered. She returns to her childhood home, where she soon discovers there’s more to the death than police are willing to reveal. The officer who’s handling the case is holding information back, and a journalist who’s nosing around the investigation is taking an unusual interest in Blanche’s family.

Blanche begins to suspect that Chuck Varner’s cult has found a new life, and that her mother’s murder was just the beginning of the cult’s next chapter.

Then another killing occurs.”

Pre-publication praise:

“[A] well-wrought characterization of a woman who can’t seem to escape her past or the future creeping up on her.” –Booklist

“Engrossing. . . . Fans of dark thrillers will be satisfied.” –Publishers Weekly

Film News: Samra Zafar’s A GOOD WIFE

Toronto based production company Pier 21 Films​ has optioned the exclusive Film/TV rights to Samra Zafar​’s A GOOD WIFE – one of the Washington Post​‘s top books of 2019 and a continuous national bestseller in Canada for 12 consecutive weeks since publication – the story of Samra Zafar, who at fifteen had big dreams of going to university and forging her own path, but had her dreams snatched away from her with almost no warning, and was suddenly married to a stranger at seventeen and left Pakistan for 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. 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; and now speaking up to break the silence on abuse to empower women globally. Samra is now a scholar, an award-winning speaker and human rights advocate. The deal was brokered by Melissa Williamson, President, and Nicole Butler, COO for Pier 21 and Samantha Haywood. World rights available ex Canada, HarperCollins; Slovak, Ikar; Czech, Euromedia; and India, Penguin Random House India. Contact: Samantha Haywood, samantha@transatlanticagency.com.

Happy book birthday to Zalika Reid-Benta’s FRYING PLANTAIN

Happy book birthday to Zalika Reid-Benta’s FRYING PLANTAIN, published with Astoria/House of Anansi Press!

From the publisher: “A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker. In her brilliantly incisive debut, Zalika Reid-Benta artfully depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominately white society.”

Pre-publication praise:

“Zalika Reid-Benta announces herself as an enormous voice for the coming decade (and one that is desperately needed). Not all must-read books are this enjoyable.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Lake Success

“Sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, Frying Plantain is written in the indelible ink of memory. Zalika Reid-Benta is a masterful storyteller with a light touch, a photographic recall, and a pitch-perfect ear for the ephemera we’d like to think of as youthful, but just can’t seem to shake. This is an unforgettable debut.”
—Paul Beatty, Booker Prize–winning author of The Sellout

“Each story in Frying Plantain is achingly poignant, insightful, and funny; each a gem unto itself. Ms. Reid-Benta’s fully sympathetic protagonist, Kara Davis, is a girl who belongs to neither Canada nor Jamaica, despite the fact that both places are ‘home.’ Her family — loving, flawed, and wickedly at odds with one another — all demand her loyalty, and her loyal friends aren’t friends at all. As a collection, these stunning stories create a multi-faceted jewel of a book.”
—Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route and Rabbits for Food

“Zalika Reid-Benta’s first book — by turns effortless, vivid, funny, sad, and genuinely like being there — is as shiny as they come. Her spot-on capture of youthful aspiration, folly, and how family members tend to understand one another only in fragments make these stories a real pleasure — full of recognition, humour, and keenly observed lives in the here and now. Frying Plantain, a window into the world of growing upward and onward inside and outside family ties, is an absolute gem.”
—Janice Galloway, author of Clara and All Made Up

Happy book birthday to Samra Habib’s WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE

Happy book birthday to WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE by Samra Habib, publishing today with Penguin Random House Canada!

From the publisher: “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.”

Pre-publication praise:

“A poignantly told memoir about a life fiercely lived.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“I fell in love with this book. We Have Always Been Here is more than one person’s memoir; it’s a record of who and what we are as a people living in a time of great migrations, of cultures bumping into cultures, of politics of exclusions. In prose as economical, crisp, clear, and truthful as poetry, Samra Habib offers a map of how we might—each and every one of us—learn to see and treasure one another and ourselves. In this way it calls to mind the works of James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Jane Rule. I predict that this book will never go out of print—it will become required and desired reading for people of all ages, persuasions, and backgrounds. How I wish I had had it to keep close to my heart when I was younger.”
—Shani Mootoo, author of Cereus Blooms at Night

“Gutting and redemptive, We Have Always Been Here is the story of one woman’s path to self-determination against every odd. Habib’s voice is sensual and mesmerizing, her talent fierce and necessary. A transformative reading experience . . . Habib’s every word lifts off the page, vital and bright as a match being struck.”
—Claudia Dey, author of Heartbreaker

“A remarkable and unfolding meditation on self-discovery. Habib’s voice is warm, honest, and spiritual. I could not put down this drama of crossing borders, both external and interior, that teaches us to look into ourselves more deeply and to see others with more empathy. This book is a gift in a historical moment of many struggles, and we are lucky to share Habib’s generous and courageous story. I will be giving everyone I know this book!”
—Kim Echlin, author of The Disappeared

“A memoir of coming of age and coming out told in rich detail. Samra Habib’s account of growing up queer and Muslim in Pakistan and Canada is at once searching and tender. Weaving together the threads of her family history with her sexuality, faith, and culture, Habib speaks for a community that has often been muted, but writes with a voice and style that is all her own.”
—Rachel Giese, author of Boys: What It Means to Become a Man

“Samra Habib’s memoir unfolds like a pre-digital photograph developing before our eyes. The identities she carries lovingly and with pride insist we revere a complication for so long denied. In the way that her photography and interview project, ‘Just Me and Allah,’ turned a tender gaze at queer Muslims each insisting ‘I am here,’ Habib’s memoir demands ‘See my selves.’ To say I count, I exist, is revolutionary when you are denied complication. Habib has written the book she wished she had when she was young. It is a book we should all have had long ago.”
—Mona Eltahawy, author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution

“A beautiful telling of a life, of love, of the reclamation of power, of feeling truly seen, and of finding your way home. An exquisite, powerful, and urgent book.”
—Stacey May Fowles, author of Infidelity and editor of Whatever Gets You Through: Twelve Survivors on Life after Sexual Assault

Welcoming Jose Pimienta!

We are extending a warm welcome to Jose Pimienta!

Jose grew up in the city of Mexicali, Mexico where he was influenced by films of all sorts, music and comic strips. During his teenage years Jose spent a lot of time drawing, playing in a rock band, and taking really long walks. He later attended Savannah College of Art and Design majoring in sequential art. Jose’s time in Georgia also presented him with the opportunity to storyboard student films and collaborate with other cartoonists. By 2009 he packed his car and moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career in storyboarding. Currently, Jose resides in Glendale California where he has storyboarded for Disney Digital Network, Psychic Bunny and numerous productions companies. When he isn’t doing commercial work, he focuses on writing and illustrating comics. Jose’s debut graphic novel, Suncatcher, which began as a successful Kickstarter is due out in 2021 with Random House Graphic. Learn more at: www.josepimienta.com.

Jose is represented by Elizabeth Bennett.