issue #4 * 30th April 2021

In the last week at David Higham Associates, we…


Another brilliant week for Nomadland, inspired by Jessica Bruder’s book, which swept the Oscars for best picture, director and actress.

The long-awaited publication of Sleeping With a Psychopath by Carolyn Woods, her extraordinary memoir of her relationship with notorious conman Mark Acklom. Carolyn’s story has been all over the media this week, with serialisation in the Daily Mail and The Times, and media appearances on ITV’s This Morning and many others.

The spine-tingling new hardback from award-winning thriller writer Craig Russell, published this week by Constable. Hyde introduces a fabulous new detective in a ‘Gothic masterpiece’ described by M. W. Craven as ‘absolutely stunning’.

The launch of the second batch of four Russell Hoban backlist titles in the Penguin Modern Classics series, including his masterwork Riddley Walker.

Hay Festival Book of the Month Male Tears. In these short stories investigating modern masculinity, Benjamin Myers lays bare the male psyche in all its fragility, complexity and failure, its hubris and forbidden tenderness. 

And I CARE A LOT: written and directed by J Blakeson and starring Rosamund Pike who won a Golden Globe for her role in the film, it was watched by a staggering 56 million households on Netflix as one of its most watched feature films of the first quarter.


Historian Helen McCarthy on being shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize for her magisterial exploration of working motherhood, Double Lives (Bloomsbury).

Michael Morpurgo on the publication of The Song of Gladness (Macmillan Children’s), gorgeously illustrated by Emily Gravett, and Jenny Valentine on the publication of her new children’s book, A Girl Called Joy (Simon & Schuster). 

Merlin Sheldrake on the launch in America of the paperback edition of Entangled Life. The book reached no. 5 in the Indie Bestseller List and the Washington Post bestseller list.

Geraldine McCaughrean on her new novel, The Supreme Lie, being The Sunday Times Book of the Week.

Jonathan Dimbleby on being no. 8 in The Sunday Times Bestsellers chart this week.

Made deals for…

Theo Clare’s (the pen name of acclaimed crime writer Mo Hayder) new epic multi-book speculative series, with French rights for the first two books in the series, The Book of Sand and The Book of Clouds, sold to Presses de la Cite.

Sweet Salone, a cookbook celebrating the food and people of Sierra Leone, by Maria Bradford to be published by Quadrille Books in 2022.

Craig Russell in Poland, where StorySide AB acquired Polish audio rights to the Jan Fabel Series and the Lennox series.


The advance copies of Not Even This: Poetry, Parenthood & Living Uncertainly, the debut work of non-fiction by the poet and critic Jack Underwood (the jacket features original artwork by the author’s toddler Nancy Agnes Underwood!), and the early praise from Ocean Vuong: “In clear, nimble, and dexterous prose, Underwood launches a capacious quest toward the unknown and maps the limits of knowledge via artmaking’s potent yet elusive role in amplifying the unknowable. All this revolves and hovers over the intimate negotiation of perhaps the deepest mystery of all: fatherhood—and with it the precarious wonder, the fraught yet ever-vital annals of parenting and love.”

Our colleague Lizzy Kremer’s return to writing on her platform PublishingforHumans

Live streamed from The Natural History Museum Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane, authors of The Lost Words and The Lost Spells, with the Spells Songs ensemble in the iconic Hintze Hall (below the skeleton of the blue whale) in a concert for the Urban Nature Project to call for a more environmentally enlightened future. The concert is available on catch up until the end of May.


J Blakeson’s original series CULPRITS as one of Disney+’s first three scripted UK commissions. Created, written and directed by J, the dark comedy follows what happens after a heist, when the crew have gone their separate ways but are being targeted one-by-one by a killer. CULPRITS is a Character 7 production, executive produced by Stephen Garrett (The UndoingThe Night Manager) and produced by Morenike Williams (Killing Eve).


Brazil. Our translation rights team colleague Bethany Wood writes: As seen in the news, Brazil is in a difficult situation at the moment, intensified by a challenging government pursuing a herd immunity strategy to tackle COVID-19. Protests against the Jair Bolsanaro government have been ongoing since January. Despite this, the Brazilian publishing industry managed to come out of 2020 in a relatively strong position, and editors were buoyant and enthusiastic to hear the latest exciting news from DHA clients. A huge shift towards digital publishing meant that even though bookshops have remained closed, publishers continued to see decent sales over 2020 – particularly for authors with strong backlist catalogues. For example, the BRIDGERTON publisher had an excellent start to 2021 off the back of the Netflix series.  Publishers noted a particular interest in well-established author brands, but also uplifting commercial fiction and practical non-fiction. It was heartening to connect virtually with our valued friends in Brazil and we can’t wait to see them again in person.

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


Published by wordsandpictures

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