Anderson Press signs Wheatle's first historical YA

Anderson Press signs Wheatle's first historical YA

Andersen Press is publish Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle, a "visceral" historical novel about the real-life slave uprising against British plantation owners in Jamaica in 1760 known as Tacky’s War.

Fiction commissioning editor Chloe Sackur acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Laura Susijn at The Susijn Agency. It will publish in hardback on 1st October 2020. 

Cane Warriors tells the story of 14-year-old Moa who works in a sugar cane plantation. One night he hears that an uprising is in the works led by Tacky. Moa wants to be part of it, but before joining, Moa and his friend Keverton need to escape, and to escape they need to kill Misser Donaldson, their overseer. 

Wheatle said: "On Remembrance Sunday every year, the UK honours its fallen dead from the First and Second World Wars and other significant wars. With Cane Warriors, I wanted to honour my ancestry and our glorious dead. I wanted to lend power to their voices and realise them on the page.

"I would like my children’s children to learn about the mighty Cane Warriors just as they read about Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc and Queen Elizabeth I repelling the Spanish Armada. I want to bring their untold story to the world so they will be recognised as freedom fighters and the heroes that they without question are.

"It’s been a pleasure to be acquisitioned and published by Andersen Press, they have given their full support and backing for my vision of Cane Warriors. Together, we will present the Cane Warriors legend to the reading public where I hope they will be entertained and moved by this compelling story based on real historical events."

Award-winning director Steve McQueen of "12 Years a Slave" will base one of his six-episode series "Small Axe" on Wheatle’s life. His Crongton series is being adapted to TV by Noel Clarke of Unstoppable Films, and the theatrical adaptation of Crongton Knights is being played to packed houses in its UK tour.

Andersen Press will work with PR agency EDPR on a "wide ranging, high-profile" national media campaign.