Faber will publish its first US market exclusive with English writer and former music journalist Will Ashon’s forthcoming book from Granta, with plans to further ramp up its American list.
Chamber Music: About the Wu-Tang will be published directly into the US market through Faber's partnership with Publishers Group West, a book distributer based in California which is part of the Perseus Books Group (PBG). The book will be published in the UK by Granta in November and is an exploration of Wu Tang Clan’s seminal album "Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers".
This will be the first US market exclusive for Faber and will be publicised by Becky Kraemer, owner of the New York-based Cursive Communications. Lee Brackstone, creative director of Faber Social, bought North American rights from Patrick Walsh of the PEW literary agency.
Anne Bowman, head of North America at Faber, said: “We are curating an exciting list from our existing copyrights and are now looking to obtain US rights for more titles. I’ve enjoyed working with authors and agents to bring great books to a US readership. Our spring list includes new books from Kirsty Gunn, Moby, Ben Markovits and the canine follow-up to T S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats from Christopher Reid, entitled Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs.”
In the last two years Faber has “seen tremendous growth of its US list, up by 125% from 2016 to 2017”, according to a spokesperson from the publisher, with a number of author tours. It entered into a partnership with PBG three years ago, with Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page describing the venture as a "substantial opportunity and a response to global alignments for independents.”
Brackstone said: “Every once in a while a book comes along that radically reinvigorates the way we look at the relationship between music, culture, philosophy and politics. Greil Marcus did it in Lipstick Traces and Chamber Music does for hip hop and the Wu Tang what that book did for punk and the Pistols.”
Granta’s editorial director Max Porter bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Chamber Music last year, on proposal from Patrick Walsh at PEW Literary.
It was described at the time as a "genre-defying" exploration of Wu Tang Clan’s seminal album "Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers" and an "exhilarating" and "innovative" non-fiction experimentalism about "one of the most important records of the 20th century".
Ashon wrote about hip hop in the mid-90s for various publications in the UK and America.
In 1997, he launched the record label Big Dada in conjunction with renowned UK independent Ninja Tune. Over the next 15 years he personally signed artists from across the world including Roots Manuva, Diplo, Wiley, Young Fathers and Kate Tempest.