issue #3 * 20th April 2021

In the last week at David Higham Associates, we…


Two birdy books that herald spring, the return of swifts from Africa and the promise of soft summer days to come. In the window of Little Toller’s new bookshop in Beaminster, Dorset we spotted: The Screaming Sky by Charles Foster, the latest in Little Toller’s monograph series, in which Foster follows swifts around the world, manically, lyrically and always scientifically. Swifts live in perpetual summer and sleep in the high thin air, their wings controlled by an alert half brain. And with it another book represented by Jessica Woollard:  The Circling Sky by Neil Ansell which has a great promotional partnership with GO JAUNTLY, a walking, wayfinding and nature connection app, so that you can win a year’s worth of premium membership here.

Nomadland which won an impressive four BAFTAs for picture, director, best actress and cinematography, inspired by Jessica Bruder’s book of the same title.

Rosanna Amaka, Kei Miller, Leone Ross, Symeon Brown, and Raymond Antrobus in The Bookseller’s The Black Issue Black Authors’ Preview.

And associate agent Elise Dillsworth in the same issue.

The launch of Barbarossa by Jonathan Dimbleby. Barbarossa, Dimbleby’s definitive account of Hitler’s invasion of Russia in 1941 and how it lead to Germany losing the Second World War, is already garnering fantastic reviews. The Daily Telegraph said, ‘Dimbleby’s description of the invasion itself is a vivid, meticulous tapestry, densely weaving the threads of German and Soviet military strategy, political calculation from Washington and London to Moscow, and war’s pitiless human cost’ and it is Book of the Week in The Times.

The audio publication of J. M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello, which you can listen to here.

The publication of Leone Ross’ This One Sky Day. You can read the first interview in the Guardian, and Leone’s fantasy dinner in the FT.

Twice Carnegie medal winning Geraldine McCaughrean‘s enthralling new novel, The Supreme Lie, set in a world paralysed by natural disaster and dangerous lies, which was The Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week.  

Jonathan Stroud’s new YA dystopian Western The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is Book of the Week in both The Times and The Sunday Times with The Times calling Scarlett and Browne, ‘a double act to die for’ and The Sunday Times calling Jonathan Stroud ‘an exceptional world builder’.

The Birthday Duck by Michael Morpurgo. The classic story of finding fun on the farm from the nation’s favourite storyteller, gorgeously re-illustrated by Sam Usher.

The paperback release of Binnie Kirshenbaum’s Rabbits for Food.

The publication of Milly Johnson’s new story-column with My Weekly.

The publication of Jay Griffiths’ collection of essays Why Rebel, that holds at its heart her time with XR. You can listen to her on the XR podcast here.  


Kate Zambreno who is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in non-fiction. Zambreno’s most recent non-fiction work, To Write As If Already Dead, a study of the writer Hervé Guibert, considered through the contemporary framework of living in the city amidst the pandemic, is forthcoming in June from Columbia University Press as part of their “Rereadings” series. The work, a diptych that is part novella and part critical notebook, won a Robert B. Silvers grant for works-in-progress from The New York Review of Books.

Naoise Dolan whose debut novel EXCITING TIMES has been long-listed for the 2021 Desmond Elliott Prize which recognises “the most outstanding first novel of the past 12 months.”

DHA authors featured across the different longlists of the CWA Dagger Awards:

Stephen Fry whose bestselling book, TROY, has been short-listed for this year’s Runciman Award and for the London Hellenic Prize.

Made deals for…

The New Frontier: Writing from the Irish Border by James Conor Patterson with New Island Books for publication in October 2021.

Megan Nolan whose blistering debut Acts of Desperation has now secured 10 translation deals, with deals confirmed in Arabic (Almada Group); German (Aufbau);  Italian (NN Editore); Lithuanian (Balto); Norwegian (Cappelen Damm); Polish (Filtry); Romanian (Bookzone); Russian (Phantom Press); Serbian (Vulkan); Spanish (Seix Barral).


Filming of Series 2 of All Creatures Great and Small, based on the bestselling books by James Herriot, which has started in Yorkshire. Series 2 sees the return of Nicholas Ralph as James and Samuel West as Siegfried. This week producers Playground announced that Patricia Hodge will take over the role of Mrs Pumphrey, following the sad news of Diana Rigg’s death last year.


Rob Parker and N V Peacock as new clients to the agency, represented by Maddalena Cavaciuti.

Rob Parker is the author of eight thrillers including the Ben Bracken series, Crook’s Hollow and the Audible bestseller Far From The Tree. A member of the Northern Crime Syndicate and co-host of the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, Rob spends a lot of time in schools across the North, encouraging literacy, story-telling and creative-writing.

N V (Nicky) Peacock’s writing career started with supernatural YA novellas and horror short stories for anthologies published across the globe. Her debut thriller Little Bones was published in December 2020 and quickly became a Tesco bestseller. Nicky has a degree in creative writing, runs a local writer’s group and volunteers at local libraries to inspire teen authors.


These beautiful stamps featuring John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and Arthur C Clarke’s Childhood’s End, released by Royal Mail on 15th April as part of a set of six stamps featuring Classic Science Fiction works by British authors, each title depicting a key moment in the evolution of the genre.

Raymond Antrobus reading poems from and discussing his new collection All the Names Given at the Picador Showcase 2021. You can already pre-order the book here.

Robbie Morrison discussing his debut historical crime novel Edge of the Grave with Janice Forsythe on BBC Radio Scotland.

The advance copies of Charlie Porter’s What Artists Wear, a landmark text about artists and clothing, which Penguin Press will publish in May; described by Olivia Laing as, ‘A liberation and a joy, beautifully written and brilliantly thought…at once a revelatory account of how art is made and an electrifying investigation into the relationship between clothes and autonomy, freedom and power’.

The Waterstones Podcast Here Is The Book episode on This One Sky Day by Leone Ross and featuring DHA agent Niki Chang.

Momtaza Mehri’s incisive and pungent piece on Michaela Coel’s hit show I May Destroy You, ‘A Cage, Afloat: On I May Destroy You, Authorial Selves & Regimes of Relatability’ on the South London Gallery website.

Sara Jafari and Varaidzo discussing their stories in Who’s Loving You: Love Stories by Women of Colour (ed. Sareeta Domingo) on Instagram Live hosted by one of our favourite independent bookshops Pages of Hackney. The book is currently number 1 in their charts!


Current UK Laureate Cressida Cowell’s campaign to ringfence £100m a year of the state budget to help primary school libraries. She cited reading for pleasure as “one of the two key factors in children’s future economic success” that will also make them “healthier and happier.” Her open letter to the prime minister was co-signed by all previous Children’s Laureates, and has received widespread positive coverage in the media.

Travelled to…

The translation rights team has been busy traveling the world from their home offices, reconnecting with translation editors and sharing their passion for our authors.  Margaux  recently ‘visited’ Italy. Despite the on-going rise in covid cases and more regions going under stricter restrictions, Margaux Vialleron found that editors were optimistic readers remaining eager to find to the right books. As in many countries, publishers report a high spike in sales through online retailers, with an unprecedented growth in the share of the number of books sold through Amazon. However, there was also a welcome and noticeable return to shopping in independent bookshops as wonderful booksellers worked harder than ever to keep readers safe and deliver them books. Overall, publishers reported stronger sales for fiction with a particular demand for uplifting stories about community and friendship – than for non-fiction, and a rise in the number of local authors featured in the bestsellers’ charts as the travel restrictions challenge publicity and marketing strategies. On a hopeful note, Turin Book Fair announced new dates for a real life week of events from the 14th to the 18th of October 2021 (the book fair traditionally takes place in May). Here is to literary festivals starting soon again, connecting authors, readers and editors together viva voce!

We hope you enjoyed our latest news round-up. Happy reading, keep watching,


Published by wordsandpictures

The weekly newsletter from David Higham Associates

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