Daunt Books Publishing has acquired Ordinary Notes by Christina Sharpe, a work of creative non-fiction about memorial and remembrance.
Publisher Željka Marošević acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Alba Ziegler-Bailey at the Wylie Agency, with Sophie Missing editing. Rights have already been sold to FSG in the US and Knopf Canada.
Sharpe is a professor of literature and Black studies at York University in Toronto, Canada, and the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (Duke University Press, 2010) and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke University Press, 2016). This will be the first time her work is published in the UK.
In Ordinary Notes, Sharpe visits sites of memorial and remembrance, from the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana to the Nazi Documentation Centre in Nuremburg, interrogating how we remember history and engage with legacies of slavery and racism. The book is interspersed with letters of protest Sharpe's mother wrote throughout Sharpe’s childhood, instilling in her children the necessity of books, of beauty, and of imagination, and asks readers to reconsider what we mean by a memorial and legacy.
Marošević said: "I have long admired Sharpe’s influential writing and I’m honoured to be bringing her work to British readers for the first time. Ordinary Notes is a breathtaking book in both content and form. At its centre is the desire to capture the joy and energy of Black lives. As well as engaging boldly with the histories and legacies of slavery, the book stands as a testament to a mother's love and moved me profoundly. Formally inventive, suggestive and generative, Ordinary Notes asks us to think more deeply and humanely, and marks another landmark work from one of our greatest and most exciting thinkers."
Sharpe said: "I’m excited to be published in the UK by Daunt Books, and to reach British readers with Ordinary Notes."
Ordinary Notes will be published by Daunt Books Originals in spring 2022.