#Merky lands 'deeply moving' memoir by Olympian runner Caster Semenya

#Merky lands 'deeply moving' memoir by Olympian runner Caster Semenya

PRH imprint #Merky Books has landed the "powerful and deeply moving" memoir by Olympic champion and elite runner Caster Semenya.

Publisher Helen Conford and senior commissioning editor Lemara Lindsay-Prince bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding South Africa and Canada, to Silence All The Noise from Caspian Dennis and Rachel Clements at Abner Stein on behalf of Peter McGuigan at Ultra Literary.

A young reader’s edition will be published by Puffin. North American rights were won by Nneoma Amadi-obi at Norton and Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers from Peter McGuigan at Ultra Literary. Southern African rights have been sold to Jeremy Boraine at Jonathan Ball Publishers. 

Semenya is a two-time Olympic Games gold medallist and a three-time World Champion gold medallist from South Africa. Since the time when she first stunned audiences with her performance at the 2008 World Championship in Berlin she has been at the centre of a growing debate about female eligibility rules in professional athletics.

The publisher said her memoir is "a story of courage, resilience, and hope" about Semenya’s childhood in rural South Africa, her running career, and her experience as an intersex woman in professional sports. Semenya was barred from competing in the women’s 200-metre and 800-metre races at the Tokyo Olympics because of her naturally high testosterone levels. 

“My life has had its struggles, but it has mostly been a joy. Through my example, I want to educate, enlighten, and inform about how the world can welcome those born different. You may have heard some of my story over the years, and you might have seen me running or standing proudly on the podium at the Olympics. But there is still so much I need to relate about strength, courage, love, resilience, and being true to who you are. I want this book to show people around the world how to do just that,” said Semenya. 

Lindsay-Prince added: "I’ve always admired Caster Semenya’s journey as an athlete, and been captivated at how unapologetic she is in her fight to compete, which equally is a fight for respect, and justice. So much has been reported on Caster Semenya which misses the true heart of who this extraordinary woman is – a proud and defiant South African hero who is more than an athlete and contains multitudes as an icon, a champion, a philanthropist, a daughter and a mother.

"This book is already monumental as it’s the first time she is owning the entirety of her own story from a little girl running in the dust, to the unflinching voice for change on and off the track she has become. As a true advocate for people to exist loudly and be proud of the skin they’re in, Caster’s memoir is brave, honest and necessary to ‘silence all the noise’ and define her legacy in her own words. It’s an honour to publish Caster Semenya."