Pete Ayrton to head up new HopeRoad imprint

Pete Ayrton to head up new HopeRoad imprint

HopeRoad has launched a new imprint, Small Axes, celebrating post-colonial classics to focus on “republishing post-colonial classics”, with Serpent's Tail founder Pete Ayrton to head up the new imprint.

Founded in 2010 by Rosemarie Hudson, HopeRoad’s promotes literature from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean focusing on themes around identity, cultural stereotyping and disability.

This year Pete Ayrton, editor and publisher, who founded Serpent’s Tail, has joined Hudson at HopeRoad and will head up Small Axes, a new imprint that will focus on “republishing post-colonial classics that helped to shape cultural shifts at the time of their printing and remain as relevant today as when they were first published,” the publisher said.

Ayrton said: “I have known Rosemarie for many years and always admired her choice of provocative, challenging books – like the best independents she only publish works she cares for passionately. In the current cultural climate, there are many publishing opportunities to be had by risk-taking indies. We look forward to bringing back into print works ready for re-discovery and acclaim. Working with HopeRoad is already fun - hopefully, it will soon become profitable.”

Small Axes aims to publish between two to four titles annually, as B-format paperback, at around £10.99 with e-books also available. The print titles “will have a distinctive style marking it out from the rest of the HopeRoad list,” the publisher said.

Published in July, the first in the new Small Axes series is The Nowhere Man by Kamala Markandaya – a novel first published in 1972 that depicts the brutal racism of everyday London  This will be followed in the autumn by Terrorism Explained to Our Kids, described as "a powerful dialogue in which the Moroccan writer Tahar ben Jelloun assesses the roots of terrorism and its powers of seduction”.

Hudson praised Ayrton’s “unique knowledge, taste and knowhow”. She said: “HopeRoad is following in the footsteps of BlackAmber which I founded in the 1990s to champion new voices, such as the brilliant and talented Alex Wheatle. Society has changed since I first started in publishing but not sufficiently, so we have to continue to bring neglected voices from the margins to the centre of the page.

"Small Axes will strengthen HopeRoad’s efforts to achieve this and these two titles are a sign of the rich treasures forthcoming in the series.”

HopeRoad and Small Axes UK sales is looked after by Inpress Books and distribution is handled by NBN International. USA and Canada distribution is handled by Trafalgar Square Publishing.