Jake Lingwood’s new Octopus imprint Monoray has acquired the “phenomenal” first ever oral history of 9/11 as one of its first titles.
The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M Graff, out on 10th September, is described as “a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives”. It provides, for the first time, a panoramic narrative from the men and women who experienced first-hand what happened the day of the attack.
It originated from Graff’s article, ‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’, an oral history of the experience of those with President Bush on Air Force One on 11th September 2001. Published in 2016 on the Politico website, the piece went viral, was shared over 2 million times and has been optioned as a movie for MGM Studios.
The publisher explained: “It is a closely interwoven narrative of nearly 500 voices from the ticket agents who unknowingly ushered terrorists onto their flights, to the first responders at the Twin Towers, to the telephone operators taking messages to families, to the ordinary workers and bystanders who witnessed the horrific scene unfold. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, new and archived interviews, Garrett Graff skillfully tells the story of the day as it was lived.”
Publisher Lingwood acquired English language and UK Commonwealth rights from Avid Reader Press, the new imprint of Simon & Schuster US.
He said: "I love oral histories and have published many, including the amazing Forgotten Voices series. And yet this might be the most powerful and affecting that I have ever read. Garrett Graff has done a phenomenal job on weaving together a complex, multi- viewpoint, multi-location narrative in a seamless way that both honours the victims of that terrible day but is simultaneously an utterly compelling read. I’m incredibly proud to be publishing The Only Plane in the Sky on the inaugural Monoray list.”
Graff is a historian and journalist who has edited Washingtonian and Politico, worked for for publications including the New York Times, Wired, Esquire, and Rolling Stone and written books including The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI (Little, Brown) and Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself-While the Rest of Us Die (Simon & Schuster).
He said: “Nearly everyone above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. What began as an ordinary day became the deadliest terrorist attack in world history and the deadliest attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor, shocking and terrifying the global community, exposing us to unimaginable tragedy and evil, while also reminding us of the strength, bravery, and power of the human spirit. Heroes quite literally emerged from the ashes, and the hours and decisions that followed defined not just a generation but our modern era.”
Ex-Ebury deputy m.d. Lingwood announced details of his new imprint, which specialises in first-person narratives, in April. It’s first title will be Operation Jihadi Bride: The Deadly Mission to Save Young Women from ISIS by John Carney, released in July. Another book, Truth to Power: 7 Ways To Call Time On B.S. by outspoken Labour politician Jess Phillips follows in October.