Allen Lane wins nine-way auction for Fryar's Britain and Caribbean history

Allen Lane wins nine-way auction for Fryar's Britain and Caribbean history

Allen Lane has won a nine-way auction for an “ambitious and resonant” history of Britain’s relationship with the Caribbean by writer and academic Christienna Fryar.

Tom Penn, publishing director at Penguin Press, bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Entangled Lands: A Caribbean History of Britain from Matthew Marland at Rogers, Coleridge & White. Allen Lane will publish the book in spring 2023.

The publisher said: “Entangled Lands is a new history of Britain told through its centuries-long relationship with the Caribbean. Drawing on Christienna Fryar’s unparalleled knowledge of Britain’s imperial and post-emancipation entanglements in the region, it moves from English piracy there in the 16th century, to colonisation, slavery, the struggle for emancipation, right up to the 'Windrush' scandal of the past three years in a vivid, sweeping, propulsive narrative. At a time of long-overdue reckoning with our colonial past, this book will tell a new history of the long and complicated relationship between Britain and the Caribbean by focusing on the too often overlooked roles of Black people in this story. In doing so, it asks crucial questions about the complexities of power, identity, equality and freedom.”

Fryar is a lecturer in Black British history at Goldsmiths, University of London, and convenor of its MA in Black British history, the first taught post-graduate programme on the subject in the UK, which launched in October 2020. For nearly 10 years, she has taught the history of the Caribbean, modern Europe, and modern Britain at universities in the US and the UK, including Liverpool University, SUNY Buffalo State and Duke University. In 2020 she was named a BBC New Generation Thinker and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio.

She said: “Telling the story of how the Caribbean has shaped and transformed the past five centuries of British history is a project of deep personal and political importance to me. It is time to insist on a more expansive vision of British history with Black people’s ideas of freedom at its centre. I am thrilled to be working with Tom Penn and for Allen Lane to publish Entangled Lands."

Penn added: “Christienna is a very exciting historian and a stunning new voice: we are thrilled to welcome her to Allen Lane with Entangled Lands. A brilliantly original, hugely ambitious and resonant new history of Britain’s relationship with the Caribbean, from 16th-century English piracy to the 'Windrush' scandal, it’s told with real power and tremendous narrative drive. It’s a vital contribution to Black British history, and to our reckoning with our colonial past, asking crucial questions about who gets to tell history — and who needs to hear it.”