Virago buys Okorie debut from Irish indie Skein Press

Virago buys Okorie debut from Irish indie Skein Press

Virago Press has bought Melatu Uche Okorie’s “unique and distinctive” stories of migrant women, from Irish indie publisher Skein Press.

Editorial director Ailah Ahmed acquired world rights excluding Ireland for This Hostel Life, which will be published on 4th July in paperback.

First released in Ireland in May 2018, the book was shortlisted for the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year prize at the An Post Irish Book Awards. It has won praise from fellow writers including Marian Keyes, Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry and Emilie Pine.

Ahmed said: “Melatu has an incredibly unique and distinctive voice. In This Hostel Life she writes beautifully, produces emotionally engaging stories and introduces us to a world that feels authentic and alive. Skein is an amazing press and Virago is proud to work with them to publish Melatu’s work in the UK.”

Born in Nigeria, Okorie moved to Ireland in 2006 and has had works published in numerous anthologies. This Hostel Life is her debut title.

She said: “Having This Hostel Life published first by Skein Press and, now, Virago is a blessing. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped make it a reality. It’s great to know that there are many who are interested in hearing the voices that This Hostel Life represents.”

Skein Press is an independent Irish press set up to publish thought-provoking fiction and non-fiction and has launched a project to publish books by writers from a BAME background.

Gráinne O’Toole, co-director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Virago Press to bring This Hostel Life to an international audience. It is wonderful that This Hostel Life has found a home with such an esteemed publishing house that has championed women’s writing for decades.”