Atlantic Books acquires two from Castillo

Atlantic Books acquires two from Castillo

Atlantic Books has acquired two books by Elaine Castillo: an essay collection, How To Read Now, and her second novel, Sexual History

Fiction publishing director James Roxburgh acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander.

How to Read Now will be a collection of linked essays that explore the politics and ethics of reading, and insist that all of us can and should read better: not just our fiction and our art, but also our people, our shared and entangled histories. It be published in hardback and e-book in summer 2022. 

Sexual History will follow in summer 2023 and is billed as a "roadtrip of a novel" in which a queer Filipinx American artist travels with her husband to the funeral of the half-brother who abused her when she was a child. It will be a book about an artist’s life and her sexual history, but it will "fundamentally be a book that questions the relationship between art and trauma, and celebrates the joys and the erotics of survival", says the publisher. 

Roxburgh said: "I once told a room full of people that Elaine was a writer of such extraordinary talent that I would blindly follow her wherever she went, and both these projects vindicate that deep-held faith – but also gently rebuke the idea of moving through the world with my eyes closed. Her collection is a stunningly significant piece of criticism that asks us not to look away when our shared culture proves so appallingly limited but instead to look harder. To think smarter. To read better."

Castillo commented: "Atlantic Books has been my literary home in the UK since London was my physical home, back in 2016, and I continue to be immensely proud of the work we have published and will continue to publish together.  With special thanks to my editor James Roxburgh, whose editorial grace, openness, and humility sets an example not just for how to be better publishers, but in particular, how to be better and more engaged publishers for authors of colour; and to my incomparable agent, Emma Paterson, whose razor-sharp instincts, iconoclastic verve and visionary commitment to effecting actionable change on our shelves (and so in our world) make her, in my esteem, the future of the publishing industry – a future that, for once in these dystopian times, I actually joyfully look forward to being part of."

Castillo published her debut novel America Is Not the Heart with Atlantic Books in 2018.