Political activist, scholar and author Angela Y Davis is joining the Hamish Hamilton list, after signing a five-book deal with the publisher.
The five books include two backlist titles, Freedom is a Constant Struggle from 2016, and a new edition of her Toni Morrison-edited An Autobiography, to come in January 2022. The three frontlist titles include two volumes of new and recent work on "abolitionism and the abolitionist imagination", and a manifesto titled Abolition. Feminism. Now., co-authored with fellow scholar-activists Gina Dent, Erica Meiners and Beth Richie.
The manifesto will be published as a 150-page demy hardback on 21st October, alongside Haymarket US. Publisher Simon Prosser bought British and Commonwealth rights, including audio and serial rights, from David Grossman, representing Haymarket Books.
First published in 1974 by Random House, where the book was edited by Morrison, and then by International Publishers in a second edition in 1988, An Autobiography is a "powerful and commanding" account of Davis' early years. The author describes her journey from a childhood on Dynamite Hill in Birmingham, Alabama, to one of the most significant political trials of the century. It takes readers from her political activity in a New York high school to her work with the US Communist Party, the Black Panther Party, and the Soledad Brothers, and from the faculty of the Philosophy Department at UCLA to the FBI's list of the 10 most wanted fugitives. The synopsis states: "Told with warmth, brilliance, humour and conviction, Angela Davis’ autobiography is a classic account of a life in struggle with echoes in our own time."
Davis said: “I am excited to be publishing this new edition of my autobiography at a time when so many are making collective demands for radical change and are seeking a deeper understanding of the social movements of the past."
Prosser commented: "Angela Davis is one of the people I admire most in the world – as a writer, as a thinker, as an activist and as a human being. To those in the Campaign to Free Angela Davis she always emphasised that the struggle was to free all political prisoners, and that in turn no political prisoner would know freedom until ‘the last starving Black child in Mississippi is assured nourishment, clothing and shelter’. This positioning of the self within the collective, seeking radical change through solidarity, resistance, protest and organising unifies all her work, and lends unassailable power to her arguments. Her words and her witness have been a guide and an inspiration to countless people and movements for five decades.
"To publish her – and to help take her books to the widest readership we can find — is a privilege. To do so alongside Haymarket, with which we have worked for so many years, sharing the publishing of Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy, makes this all the more happy a moment."