Lesley Lokko is moving from Orion to Pan Macmillan with two “intoxicating” multi-generational novels.
Associate publisher Wayne Brookes acquired world English rights from Kate Shaw at The Kate Shaw Agency. The first novel, Soul Sisters, will be published in hardback and trade paperback in July 2021 with a mass market paperback edition publishing in May 2022. The second will follow in July 2022.
Soul Sisters is “a rich, inter-generational tale of love, race, power and secrets centred on the lifelong friendship between two women: Scottish Jen McFadden and South African-born, British-educated Kemi Mashabane”.
The synopsis explains: “Kemi is the daughter of jailed South African leader, Tole Mashabane and she’s practically a sister to Jen, having spent most of her childhood in the McFadden family home in Edinburgh. The two families share a history — Jen’s great-grandfather having started the mission school in southern Africa where Kemi’s great-grandfather was a pupil. Kemi was privately educated in Britain alongside Jen and the two of them could not be closer; nor could they be more different. They choose different academic paths: Jen’s a disappointment to her wealthy father, Kemi’s a credit. They chose different careers: Jen, the flighty artistic one eventually becomes a journalist. Kemi, serious and grounded, chooses medicine. But the ties that bind them are strong and complicated, and include a dark family secret.”
Lokko is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic and novelist, who has lived and worked on four continents. Her novels, including Sundowners (Orion), Rich Girl, Poor Girl (Orion) and A Private Affair (Orion), have been translated into 16 languages. Her most recent novel was 2017's The Last Debutante (Orion).
Brookes said “I have been a huge fan of Lesley Lokko since her first novel Sundowners was published back in 2003. Being able to publish Soul Sisters and launch this brand new book from the Pac Mac list is a career highlight for me. I’ve always loved Lesley’s intoxicating mix of drama, incorporating issues around race, politics, family and love. The story of Jen and Kemi is one that will not only appeal to Lesley’s fans but a whole new readership, and it feels like a story that needs to be told right now. We are ecstatic that Lesley will be making her new home at Pan Macmillan and we can’t wait for everyone to read the next chapter in her publishing career.”
Lokko said: “I'm thrilled to be back writing again and just delighted to have the opportunity to work with Wayne Brookes at Pan Macmillan. A big, big thank you to my agent, Kate Shaw, for bringing us together.”