We are so happy to share that UK rights to Wild Geese by 2021 MM Agency Mentorship graduate and debut novelist Soula Emmanuel have been snapped up by Footnote Press. The pioneering new press focusing on migration, identity, separation, resistance and reclamation will publish Wild Geese in print, ebook, and audio in 2023.
Wild Geese by debut novelist Soula Emmanuel tells the story of Phoebe Forde, an Irish trans woman living in Scandinavia. Overeducated and underpaid, Phoebe is finally settling into her new life when she unexpectedly reconnects with her first and only girlfriend from before her transition, igniting memories she thought she’d left behind. Set over a single weekend, Wild Geese is an intimate and moving story about old flames, old lives, and the pursuit of second chances. It is an intimate look at the search for love and belonging in a sometimes frightening world, and an account of friendship across years, boundaries, binaries, and borders.
Dave Watins, Editorial Director at Footnote Press, said: ‘Wild Geese is a phenomenal achievement. You really get a sense of emotional intensity glowing white hot behind every flawless sentence. Structurally, too, it is so rich and well balanced: from line to plot to theme, each reflects the others in beautiful symmetry, probing the connections between memory and personhood, love and friendship, temporalities and permanence. It’s just fantastic.’
Consulting editor, Candida Lacey, said: ‘Wild Geese is a terrific novel from an incredible new talent. Soula writes with such intensity and insight – her prose is luminous, her language is elegant and poised. It is her pitch-perfect prose that pulls you in to the story, and delivers the profound emotional as well as geographical landscapes that stay with you long after you close the book. By charting the many dislocations and relocations – both internal and external, the encounters, accidents, memories and multiple layers of loss – and love – that constitute a life, Wild Geese aligns seamlessly with Footnote’s mission to explore expansive and eclectic interpretations of migration, identity and marginalised knowledge and experience.’
Soula Emmanuel said: ‘Wild Geese is my baby, and I’m proud to say I’m raising something a little bit zen and a little bit daft. This is a novel about the way life sometimes collapses to a point of contraction, about how our relationships to our surroundings and each other shape our lives in unforeseen ways. Its intimacy is a product of my own experience of gender transition and of writing during lockdown. But eventually, in writing and in life, the world expands again and the story continues for my characters, and I’m so delighted Dave, Vidisha and the team at Footnote have put their faith in me to take this story forward to publication.’
Olivia Maidment said: ‘From the moment I opened the first page of Wild Geese, I fell headlong into the emotional world of the novel and have been so incredibly proud to be working with Soula to bring her exceptional literary talent to the world ever since. Wild Geese is an unflinching portrait of the subtleties and complexities of modern life, and I know readers will fall in love with Phoebe as they explore her world with all of its vibrancy, listlessness, and piercing moments of longing. It is wonderful to see Soula’s novel find its perfect home with Footnote Press.’
Congratulations, Soula! We are so thrilled for you and your incredible debut.