Virago is to publish an anthology of 31 original letters written in the weeks after the election of president Donald Trump from novelists, poets and political thinkers including Celeste Ng, Hari Kunzru and Karen Joy Fowler.
Sarah Savitt, deputy publisher at Virago, acquired UK rights to Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, which was compiled by activist and writer Carolina De Robertis. It will be published on 2nd May 2017, just after the first 100 days of Trump’s administration.
This acquisition follows The Bookseller's report that a number of publishers have vowed to publish more writers from marginalised groups in an attempt to promote a message of tolerance and combat xenophobia following the election of president Trump.
Radical Hope addresses the "tumult and danger of these times, through a range of leading contemporary voices", the publisher said. The 31 original letters and essays written for this anthology (plus the essay by Junot Díaz that inspired the title) are woven into a "passionate" narrative, and divided into three sections.“Roots” explores the histories that bring us to this moment, with many letters addressed to ancestors; “Branches” addresses present-day people or communities—a stranger in the supermarket, Baby Boomers, Millennials, white people, artists, the protestors at Standing Rock—and delves into complex questions of our current era; and, finally, “Seeds” looks to the future by speaking to new generations, to sons and daughters, to godchildren, or to imagined children yet to be born, all of them inheritors of what happens now.
"The anthology offers readers an antidote to despair: it is a salve, a balm, a compass, a rallying cry, a lyrical manifesto, a power source, a torch to light the way forward", the publisher said.
Savitt added: "I wish there wasn’t a need for Radical Hope – but here we are. I’m proud and delighted to be publishing what promises to be an essential, uplifting and challenging book, by an incredible range of writers. We hope many readers will take inspiration from the diversity and energy found within its pages."
Savitt bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Chris Kepner on behalf of Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates. Knopf will publish the book in the US.
The full list of contributors is: Achy Obejas, Alicia Garza, Aya de León, Boris Fishman, Carolina De Robertis, Celeste Ng, Cherríe Moraga, Chip Livingston, Claire Messud, Cristina García, Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, Francisco Goldman, Hari Kunzru, iO Tillet Wright, Jane Smiley, Jeff Chang, Jewelle Gomez, Junot Díaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Kate Schatz, Katie Kitamura, Lisa See, Luis Alberto Urrea, Meredith Russo, Mohja Kahf, Mona Eltahawy, Parnaz Foroutan, Peter Orner, Reyna Grande, Roxana Robinson and Viet Thanh Nguyen.