Borough Press’ commissioning editor Carla Josephson has made her first acquisition for the imprint with a “bold" pre-empt for a debut novel from a former school principal.
Josephson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to The Flight of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen from Susan Armstrong at C+W Agency, three months after joining the HarperCollins imprint. Borough Press will publish the debut in hardback as a lead title, in May 2019.
It is billed as a quirky, offbeat love story that explores the different places we find love, how we cope when we lose it and the mysterious processes by which we find it again. It follows Augusta Hope from England and Parfait, from Burundi in Africa, both “extraordinary people who dream of escaping their very different lives, and in the process, find both themselves and each other”.
Josephson, who joined Borough from Simon & Schuster UK in January, praised the protagonist’s “sharp edges, humour and unique view of the world” describing Augusta as “an incredibly vibrant character who you can’t help but fall in love with”.
“This is an astoundingly accomplished debut – Joanna is brilliant at combining spikey humour with heart-breaking sadness and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the Borough family,” she said.
Glen is based in south London and studied Spanish at the University of London including a stint at the Faculty of Arts at Córdoba University in Spain. She taught Spanish and English to all ages, was latterly a school headteacher and has edited a variety of non-fiction books. Also a visiting lecturer, Glen has worked as a communications coach and an adviser and trainer for schools. Her work has appeared in the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology.
She said: “When it was time for Augusta Hope to fly the nest of my laptop, I hoped there might be somebody out there who would catch a glimpse of her and love her as much as I do, who would somehow just know what she was about. And that somebody speedily materialised in the warm and dynamic persona of Carla Josephson at Borough Press. It’s such a joy to be working together.”
Armstrong described the book as “a remarkable and unforgettable debut bringing with it tears and laughter, darkness and hope”.
“I’m thrilled Joanna Glen has found her home with Carla and the fantastic team at Borough Press who I know will publish her with passion and brilliance,” she said.