Pan Macmillan has acquired a romantic memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Brinkley-Rogers.
Carole Tonkinson pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights to Please Enjoy Your Happiness for Pan Macmillan’s Bluebird imprint from Michael V Carlisle at InkWell Management.
Please Enjoy Your Happiness is a coming-of-age memoir based on Brinkley-Rogers' summer-long affair with an older Japanese woman.
When serving as a seaman aged 19, Brinkley-Rogers met Kaji Yukiko, a sophisticated, highly intellectual Japanese woman, who was on the run from her vicious gangster boyfriend, a member of Japan’s brutal crime syndicate, the yakuza.
She took Rogers under her wing, sharing their love of poetry, cinema and music and many an afternoon at The Mozart Café.
Pan Macmillan said: “Brinkley-Rogers, now in his 70s, re-reads Yukiko’s letters and finally recognises her as the love of his life, receiving at last the gifts she tried to bestow on him. Reaching across time and continents, Brinkley-Rogers shows us how to reclaim a lost love, inviting us all to celebrate those loves of our lives that never do end.”
Tonkinson said: “Paul’s book is one of the most beautiful and life-affirming things I have ever read. Michael Carlisle passed the manuscript to me on a trip to New York and reading it on the plane home I was reduced to tears at the sheer beauty and redemptive sweep of this story. The writing is potentially prize-wining and the narrative reads like the best page-turning fiction: a cross between the coming of age story that is 84, Charing Cross Road and the exotic setting of Memoirs of a Geisha. It is a masterclass in restraint, beauty and true romance and a timeless love story for readers of any age.”
Brinkley-Rogers said: “This story began with the jolt of rediscovering Yukiko's letters. It did not begin with a plan to write an account of that long ago summer.”
Bluebird will publish in hardback in February 2016.