'Agenda-setting book' on refugees to Canongate

'Agenda-setting book' on refugees to Canongate

Canongate is to publish an "agenda-setting book" by author Dina Nayeri about the reality of the refugee experience entitled The Ungrateful Refugee.

Editorial director Simon Thorogood pre-empted world rights in The Ungrateful Refugee from Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates in London and Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management in New York.

Thorogood said: "The Ungrateful Refugee is a book that articulates the reality of the refugee experience in beautiful, powerful prose. It is also one that challenges our preconceptions and makes us think afresh about one of the biggest issues of our age. Dina’s book recalibrated my thinking and opened my eyes. This will be an agenda-setting book when we publish in spring 2019."

Nayeri said that she is writing the non-fiction title because "the world is regressing", and that she thinks it is necessary to "show refugees as they are, the full arc of their story."

"I don't want to show how refugees contribute to their host countries; I want to show instead how they become enmeshed in a community, how they live, what they suffer, how they love and are loved by the native-born", she said. "I want to show how a single moment of displacement can shape everything that comes after, and how, in the West, the label 'refugee' can become a permanent siphon of identity and power. Most of all, I want to give the world a new, complete narrative of resettlement that doesn't assume (despite brushes with joy and community) that the story ends happily the moment asylum is won."

She added: "I'm grateful that Canongate is passionate about this message, and I'm delighted to work with such a phenomenal team."

Nayeri was born in Iran and moved to America at the age of 10. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, was published in 2013 by Allen & Unwin and translated to 14 languages. She holds a BA from Princeton, an M Ed and MBA from Harvard, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow.