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. This is the first fiction title to be published by the press which launched in June this year.
Wild Geese 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, the comfort of home, and the desire to start again somewhere else.
Candida Lacey, Editorial Director at Footnote Press, said: ‘Soula writes with such intensity and insight – her pitch-perfect prose 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. This is a work that will hopefully help many others navigate and embrace their own differences, their own private ‘pool of shared grief’, as will the reminder of the redeeming power of being known and accepted by a friend.’
Soula Emmanuel said: ‘Wild Geese is a novel about so many things I was eager to write about: loss, hope, second chances, redemption, friendship, love, owning your body, and feeling like you don’t quite belong anywhere. It’s a little bit zen and a little bit daft, and I’m so very proud of it. I’m delighted Candida, Vidisiha and the fabulous team at Footnote have put their faith in me to take it forward to publication, and with the hard work my agent Liv Maidment and everyone at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency has done to get me to this point.‘
Olivia Maidment said: ‘When assessing applicants for the mentorship we only get to read the first chapter of a manuscript, but from the moment I opened the first page of Wild Geese I fell headlong into Soula’s writing and the emotional world of her novel. 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.