The Indigo Press, the publishing arm of the MILD group, has today announced two new titles acquired by Publishing Director Ellah Wakatama Allfrey. The Press secured UK and Commonwealth rights to Wonder Valley from Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge & White and World English Language rights to Silence is My Mother Tongue from Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann.
Wonder Valley is a noir literary thriller from genre-crossing author Ivy Pochoda, whose previous titles include The Art of Disappearing and Visitation Street, an Amazon Best Book of 2013. Wonder Valley has been received to critical acclaim in the US, where it was named among the best books of 2017 by The Los Angeles Times and NPR, and was described as “destined to be a classic L.A. novel” by Michael Connelly. It will be published in the UK on 20th September 2018.
Set across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles, Wonder Valley follows a cast of six misfits who narrate the book. There’s Ren, just out of juvie, who travels to LA in search of his mother. There’s Owen and James, teenage twins who live in a desert commune, where their father, a self-proclaimed healer, holds sway over his band of disciples. There’s Britt, who shows up at the commune harbouring a dark secret. There’s Tony, a bored and unhappy lawyer. And there’s Blake, a drifter hiding in the desert, doing his best to fight off his most violent instincts. Their lives will all intertwine and come crashing together in a shocking way, one that could only happen in this enchanting, dangerous city.
Sulaiman S.M.Y. Addonia’s Silence is My Mother Tongue is a searing novel about migration, sacrifice and the powerful bonds forged in the crucible of life in a refugee camp. This is the second book by Addonia, whose first novel The Consequences of Love was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and translated into more than 20 languages. Silence is My Mother Tongue will be published on 4th October 2018.
Saba, the novel’s heroine, arrives in an East African refugee camp as a young girl. In this crowded and often hostile place, she has to carve out her new existence. As she struggles to maintain her sense of self, Saba remains fiercely protective of her mute brother Hagos – each sibling resisting the role gender and society assigns. Silence is My Mother Tongue is an extraordinary portrait of a woman of courage and intelligence and a compelling story of exile, survival, and love. Sulaiman S.M.Y. Addonia questions what it means to be a man, to be a woman, to be an individual when circumstance has forced the loss of all that makes a home and the possibility of a future. This is a book about love in a time of conflict, incisively dissecting society’s ability to wage war on its own women and exploring the stories we must tell and absorb to survive, cementing Addonia as a gifted literary talent whose stories reach across enforced borders towards the universal conflicts of the human heart.
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey said:
“Although very different in approach and location, these two novels exemplify our ambitions for the fiction list at The Indigo Press. In each case the author is concerned with the possibilities of the novel and has moulded the form into a distinct work that interrogates universal themes. Pochoda explores California’s underclass – the different voices and locations (from the desert to the sea) exploring the inequalities of contemporary American society and the desire each of her characters has to change their lives – even if that means running away. Addonia’s concerns are no less urgent as he writes of challenges faced by his young heroine as she finds her life dramatically altered. This is writing that looks inward at a particular community with characters whose stories illuminate the world.”
Wonder Valley and Silence is My Mother Tongue will follow the publication of These Bones Will Rise Again by Panashe Chigumadzi, the first title from The Indigo Press announced for 14 June 2018.
Notes to editors
About the authors
Ivy Pochoda is a novelist and writer, previously a world ranked squash player. Her novel Visitation Street was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. She has written for a number of outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Huffington Post. She teaches creative writing at the Lamp Arts Studio in Skid Row. Ivy will be in the UK in September to coincide with the publication of her book.
w. https://ivypochoda.com/ t. @ivypochoda
Sulaiman S.M.Y. Addonia is a novelist who fled Eritrea as a refugee in childhood. He spent his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan following the Om Hajar massacre in 1976, and in his early teens he lived and studied in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He arrived in London as an underage unaccompanied refugee without a word of English and went on to earn an MA in Development Studies from SOAS and a BSc in Economics from UCL. The Consequences of Love was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was translated into more than 20 languages. Sulaiman S.M.Y. Addonia currently lives in Brussels where he has launched a creative writing academy for refugees and asylum seekers.
About the Indigo Press
The Indigo Press is an independent publisher of fiction and creative non-fiction, headquartered at the legendary John Murray building in London. Launched in 2017, it brings together a conversation-starting curation of books offering bold ideas and beautifully crafted stories from around the world.
About the MILD group
Founded by CEO Susie Nicklin, MILD brings together a dynamic portfolio of book businesses that include award-winning independent bookshop Dulwich Books (founded in 1982), long- established international rights specialists The Marsh Agency (founded in 1994), publishing house The Indigo Press (founded in 2017), and Livelit, a thriving year-round programme of events that includes two annual literary festivals. Each business operates individually whilst sharing expertise across their teams, for an enterprising approach to publishing from acquisition to retail and promotion.