Independent literary publisher Penned in the Margins has acquired two non-fiction titles, one of which re-imagines pilgrimage while the other recasts the city as a pastoral retreat.
In Heavy Time, academic, writer and psychogeographer Sonia Overall (pictured) examines what pilgrimage can mean to the secular walker as she journeys from Canterbury to Walsingham, via her home town of Ely. The synopsis describes how Overall "treads the line between creative inspiration and spiritual intervention, taking the path of the lone woman and looking for relics, real and figurative, along the way". It is slated to publish June 2021.
Feral City by Meryl Pugh meanwhile is set in the urban pastoral of an east London postcode. The book asks what it means to be local and to call a place home, and how best to share that home with its non-human inhabitants. Penned in the Margins says: "It re-imagines the wild as the 'feral', recasts the city as pastoral retreat and argues for the feral status of poetry as a home for ways of thinking and being that resist social and other taxonomies. Using the pastoral to critique the rigours of contemporary urban life, Pugh champions the value of being local." It is due to publish in spring 2022.
World rights were acquired in both cases in deals done directly with the authors.
Tom Chivers, director of Penned in the Margins, said: “Sonia Overall and Meryl Pugh both approach their subjects in a hybrid form, weaving together memoir, nature writing and poetry in unexpected ways. The acquisition of these two brilliant titles extends our commitment to publishing literary non-fiction that explores walking, the natural world and our contested place within it.”