Profile Books has pre-empted a book about anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was murdered in car bomb in Malta attack two years ago, by her youngest son Paul Caruana Galizia with assistance from his two brothers.
Daphne’s Sons will be largely written by Paul Caruana Galizia, a 30 year-old economist from the LSE who became a journalist following his mother’s death and now works at new journalism start-up Tortoise Media. His two brothers will assist in writing the book. Andrew Caruana Galizia, aged 32, is a Fellow at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, and Matthew Caruana Galizia, 33, is a data analyst and journalist who was part of the team which won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Panama Papers.
Patrick Walsh of PEW Literary accepted a pre-empt for the British Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Helen Conford, publisher at Profile Books.
Walsh told The Bookseller how the book delves into the importance of anti-corruption reporting. “Daphne Caruana Galizia was a brave and charismatic journalist who built a strong reputation for exposing scandal after scandal, despite frequent attempts to silence her - arson attacks, online harassment, libel suits. She never stopped writing, driven by a conviction that she was helping to create a better, and necessarily much more democratic, country. Fifty-three years old when she was killed outside her house in Malta by a car bomb on the 16th of October 2017, Daphne was then at the peak of her journalistic career.
“When news of her death broke, international journalists mobilised, fuelled in part by a sense that the world’s journalists were beginning not to be seen as non-combatants. What shocked people even more was that such a fearless journalist had been assassinated within Europe, in an EEC member country which receives some 2.5 million tourists annually. An extraordinary coalition of news groups then came together to signal to would-be assassins that journalists' stories would continue to be investigated if their writers were murdered. They did so as the Daphne Project, under the auspices of Forbidden Stories in Paris, an organisation founded by Laurent Richard after the Charlie Hebdo attack."
The wider campaign continues, with Italian writer Roberto Saviano having edited and introduced a collection of Daphne’s journalism for Bompiani publishing house in Italy, and with supporters joining the board of a new foundation set up by the Caruana Galizia family to pursue justice. Additionally, many writers’ NGOs, including International PEN and Reporters Without Borders, have been producing reports, lobbying and publicising their concerns.
Walsh said: “Personally, I can’t help thinking that Daphne Caruana Galizia was in a sense killed by globalism. She had grown up in an all-but communist and highly chauvinist country in which female journalists simply did not exist. There were none. Then as Malta threw off its old regime and began planning to join the EEC, Daphne became - at all of 25-years-old - the first woman columnist and a political interviewer with a national platform.”
He said that Daphne’s Sons “will be an incredibly important book.. In many ways, Paul has had to investigate his mother’s work in order to identify why people wanted her killed".
Walsh added; "If children are lucky, Paul says, they know they are loved by their parents and they love their parents in return. But they never investigate them. That’s exactly what Paul and his two brothers have had to do since Daphne's murder, and they’ve been staggered by what they discovered not just about Daphne's fortitude but also about some childhood memories.”
Bill Browder, author of Red Notice: How I Became Putin's No. 1 Enemy (Bantam Press) and campaigner, said of Daphne’s Sons: "When three sons have to fight for justice for their murdered mother, something is very wrong with the world. This will be a hugely important book”.
Paul Caruana Galizia was recently shortlisted for New Journalist of the Year in the British Journalism Awards.