Allen Lane acquires new exploration of social history by Isabel Wilkerson

Allen Lane acquires new exploration of social history by Isabel Wilkerson

Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books UK, will publish Caste: The Lies that Divide Us, an exploration of social history by Isabel Wilkerson. 

Allen Lane acquired exclusive English language rights for the UK and Commonwealth, as well as rest-of-the-world open market rights (excluding the US and Canada), to Caste: The Lies that Divide Us. The title will be published in the UK on 11th August 2020. 

Caste: The Lies that Divide Us explores how the determining factors in society are not race, class or gender but "caste", referring to "deep-rooted systems by which the dominant group in a culture gathers and maintains power through schemes of arbitrary categorisation, upholding its own status by suppressing and often harming those below it." 

Wilkerson makes two case studies in the book, one looking at the Third Reich and the other looking at the ancient caste system of India. The book sets out the "eight pillars of caste" and will show how dominant caste groups throughout the world share common characteristics. By framing group identification in this broader context, Wilkerson attempts to depersonalise the language of hurt and inequality, to form an understanding of the larger principles at stake, and to model a different way of thinking which will allow readers both a choice and responsibility in how they treat others.

Wilkerson commented: "Caste is the missing puzzle piece to understanding events unfolding before our very eyes, on both sides of the Atlantic."

Penguin Books UK has also acquired English language rights for the UK and Commonwealth, as well as rest-of-the-world open market rights (excluding the US and Canada) to Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, which was originally published by Random House US in 2010.