Canongate has landed an "ambitious and deeply moving book" by journalist and author Chitra Ramaswamy about her unlikely friendship with Jewish refugee Henry Wuga, which will be a lead non-fiction hardback for the publisher.
Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired world rights to Homelands: The History of a Friendship from Jenny Brown at Jenny Brown Associates. It will publish in April 2022.
The synopsis said: "This book is about two unlikely friends. One brown, one white; one female, one male; one born in 1970s Britain to Indian immigrant parents, the other arrived from Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport in 1939, fleeing persecution. This book is about common ground. It is a story of migration, antisemitism, racism, family, belonging, grief and resilience. This book is about homelands".
Ramaswamy is a TV critic for the Guardian and restaurant critic for the Times Scotland. Her first book, Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy (Saraband), won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize.
She said: "In one way or another, I’ve been working on this book ever since I met Henry Wuga in the summer of 2011. It has been the most profound, challenging and rewarding experience of my writing life, and I couldn’t be happier for Homelands to be published by Canongate, who are literally my dream publishers. I know they will do an outstanding job with the shepherding of mine and Henry Wuga’s braided stories. Both Henry and I are thrilled to be working with them."
Bickmore said: "Homelands is a hybrid of memoir and biography that speaks directly to our current moment. The flowering of Ramaswamy’s friendship with Jewish refugee Henry Wuga has so much to teach us all about belonging and resilience. She writes with startling clarity but also a wonderful depth of feeling. It’s a tremendously powerful read that I hope will win readers and prizes."