Chatto & Windus has "beaten stiff competition" at auction to secure rights to Stopping Places: Tracing the Old Gypsy Ways across Modern Britain by Damian Le Bas, the story of a year-long quest to discover the secret routes and ways of life of the Romany Gypsy community.
Editor Parisa Ebrahimi bought UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Jack Ramm at Eve White Literary Agency.
Le Bas, who comes from a centuries-old line of "Travellers", hits the road in his blue van to travel the length of breadth of Britain in search of the ancient encampment sites – the ‘stopping places’ – of his ancestors. This is an "unparalleled" portrait of Romany Gypsies – and their rich language, lore and literature – written by a native son. It is an "entirely new geography of Britain through the eyes of one of its most misunderstood yet intriguing communities."
Ebrahimi said: "We are hugely excited to have acquired this stunning book. Stopping Places eloquently shines a light on a way of life that is hidden and often much-maligned, as well as speaking to the heart of anyone who has contemplated life on the open road. With shades of Robert Macfarlane and James Rebanks, I have no doubt this will be an important and breath-taking book."
Le Bas said: "By going to the places where they live and have lived, and writing about them from within, I want to convey the soul of Britain’s Gypsies and Travellers. What emerges, I hope, will be an entirely new geography of Britain, through the eyes of one of its most misunderstood yet perennially intriguing groups."
The book is due for publication in 2017.