In a posting on her blog, Petina Gappah has announced, and confirmed, the news that she has secured a two-book deal with Faber & Faber in the UK and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in the US. The first book, An Elegy for Easterly, a story collection, comes out in April 2009 in the UK and June 2009 in the US, while the second, The Book of Memory, my first novel, comes out in 2010. In addition, writes Gappah, “Mouria, Gyldendal Norsk and Bonniers, three of the classiest and most respected publishers in Europe have bought the rights to both books in The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, so the books will come out at same time in Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish.”
“I am so thrilled, both for myself, but also for Zimbabwean and African writers,” stated Gappah in an email message. This is the first such joint deal offered to any writer by Faber-FSG.
If you have read any of Gappah’s fiction and other writings, especially her political commentary at such forums as the Guardian, Granta, Prospect, The Zimbabwe Times, you will already know her a facility with language and her riveting story-telling style.
Great news for Zimbabwe and the African continent, wonderful news for readers everywhere. I am looking forward to reading these books. For the first time I will be able to walk into a Borders or Barnes & Noble and actually find a book by a Zimbabwean author on the shelf, that is, if I even have to walk past the store-front New York Times bestseller list display!
Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer and lawyer based in Geneva, Switzerland. She holds a doctorate from the Karl-Franz University in Graz, Austria, a Master of Laws degree from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Laws Honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe.