It’s been a blockbuster week at the Agency: we can hardly believe we’re only a few weeks into the year and our authors are already smashing records. We’re dizzy with celebrating! Here’s a look back at the weekly highlights.
We can’t wait for the forthcoming essay collection Of This Our Country, which will feature a contribution from multi-award winning journalist and Slay in Your Lane author Yomi Adegoke. Due to be published by Borough Press in September 2021, Of This Our Country sets out to draw a living portrait of Nigeria, weaving together personal essays and recollections from Nigerian writers including Abi Daré and Irenosen Okojie. Stirring, powerful and proud, we urge you to pre-order a copy of these beautiful essays here.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in lockdown (the way things started this year, it felt tempting) then it’s hard to have missed the unstoppable Ashley Audrain, whose widely-lauded debut novel The Push was published in the US, UK and Canada last week. After its very first week on sale, Ashley has already steam-rollered straight into the charts, hitting No.14 in the New York Times Bestseller List and No.5 on the Canadian bestseller list! Here in the UK and after only 3 days on sale, The Push debuted at No.22 in the hardback charts, an incredible start.
Reviews have been stacking up thick and fast too, with the Guardian praising the “sheer compelling power of its narrative drive” and the New York Times calling it a “taut, chilling debut”. The Skinny also ran a 5 star review calling it “an unsettling exploration of sanity and motherhood, and of expectations both personal and societal”.
The LA Times agreed that “what makes it stand out from the rest is Audrain’s nuanced understanding of how women’s voices are discounted, how a thousand little slights can curdle a solid marriage and — in defiance of maternal taboos — how mothers really feel, sometimes, toward difficult children.”
And as a silver lining, what could be more special than to have not one, but THREE Agency books make the New York Times Bestseller List this week!!
Alongside The Push at No.14, Katherine May’s non-fiction memoir, Wintering, stays in the New York Times bestseller hardback non-fiction list for the second week in a row at No. 13. They are joined by Clare Pooley’s feel-good debut The Authenticity Project sitting at No.11. This is a real Agency first, so massive congratulations to Ashley, Clare and Katherine – we’re all so proud of you!
The actress Gen Padalecki did an Instagram live earlier in the week and read straight from Wintering as part of her Now & Gen December book club (and even hugged her copy – that’s what we like to see!) Wintering was also included in the January 11th issue of People Magazine (see image below). “Perfect for reading while we wait our turns in the vaccine line”. Well, some day soon maybe!
To YA & Children’s now, and Brianna Bourne’s beautiful teen romance You & Me at the End of the World was featured on Pop Sugar’s 50 Picture, Middle-Grade, and YA Books Coming Out in 2021 to Add to Your Kid’s TBR List. Scholastic are publishing Brianna’s debut novel in July 2021.
Louise Gooding has earned a bestseller flag on Amazon, in advance of her illustrated anthology of famous figures from diverse and inspiring backgrounds Just Like Me being published in March by Studio Press. You can get 20% off if you pre-order now!
We’re so pleased for Maisie Chan having made the Scottish Book Trust’s list of best children’s books by Scottish authors and illustrators in 2021. Her funny, heartwarming middle-grade novel Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths will be published by Bonnier this June.
And to round-off this week, a big three cheers for brilliant Billy Plimpton, the stand-up star of The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter, which was listed in the Irish Independent’s Culture Guide 2021!