We’re delighted to have so many exciting Blake Friedmann titles published in 2019 – many of these have already been recognised as books to look out for, so here’s a taster of what’s being said …

MANDALAY: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen by MiMi Aye (Bloomsbury Absolute, June)

‘June sees the launch of MANDALAY, a new book by MiMi Aye featuring nearly 100 simple Burmese recipes – from the national dish of mohinga (a fish chowder with rice noodles and lemongrass, traditionally served at breakfast) to lahpet thoke, a classic Burmese salad of pickled green tea leaves.’ — Olive Magazine, The 2019 Foodie Trend Report

‘Burmese food is set to become more popular with the publication of Mimi Aye’s MANDALAY.’ — Evening Standard, Veganuary 2019

‘Compared with its Thai neighbour, Burmese food is relatively unknown in the UK. That’s about to change, thanks to MANDALAY: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen, a sumptuous cookbook by MiMi Aye, published by Bloomsbury in June.’ — The Times, The Biggest Food Trends of 2019

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LOWBORN: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson (Chatto & Windus, May)

LOWBORN will be a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4

Kerry Hudson looks back at her impoverished childhood, and travels around Britain asking what being poor means today.’ — The Guardian, 2019 in Books: What You’ll Be Reading This Year

‘Kerry Hudson’s memoir LOWBORN: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns… arrive[s] with a sense of urgency.’ — New Statesman, Back to the Future: What to Read in 2019

'Powerful and moving... An emotional and important read.' — iNews, 10 Best Books to Read in 2019

THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL by Peter James (Stage Production)

Peter James’s THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL has now been adapted for stage, starring BAFTA nominated actor and 2017 winner of BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing Joe McFadden as Ollie Harcourt, alongside Rita Simons (who played Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders) as Caro. The chilling sequel, THE SECRET OF COLD HILL, will be published in hardback by Pan Macmillan in October 2019.

See more about the tour schedule for THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL here.

‘There is an argument to be made that Peter James should have been on our “people who have had a great 2018” list. Two books out, including one to add to his famed Roy Grace series, Peter has certainly been busy in the past 12 months. This year is sure to be no different as the HOUSE ON COLD HILL show, based on his 2015 novel, goes on tour. While Peter may not be part of the show itself there is no doubt that the touring production will shine a further light on the book and the success or failure of the tour will affect him hugely. That is why he makes this list.’ — The Argus, Five Sussex Stars Who Will Have a Great 2019

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SHADOWPLAY by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker, June)

‘Fans of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, meanwhile, will be keen to get hold of Joseph O’Connor’s SHADOWPLAY which follows Stoker as he wanders the fog-bound streets of Victorian London.’ — Irish Times, Books to Look Forward to in 2019

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SAFE edited by Derek Owusu (Trapeze, March)
‘In an impressive roster of contributors, journalist Musa Okwonga’s chapter “The Good Bisexual” is a long overdue – and delicate – insight into the challenges black bisexual men face, from queer puberty, the double burden of racism and homophobia, homophobic harassment in the workplace, and ultimately, self-acceptance. A refreshing insight, given that black, bi men’s experiences are routinely rendered invisible.’ — Dazed, 11 New LQBTQ Books to Read in 2019


EAT IT ANYWAY by Eve Simmons and Laura Dennison (Mitchell Beazley, January)

‘In EAT IT ANYWAY, journalists Simmons and Dennison – founders of the website Not Plant Based – aim to dispel dietary myths and help others, who like them, have suffered from eating disorders, to rediscover their love of food.’ — The Irish Independent, The 72 Books We’ll Be Talking About in the First Half of 2019

THE CATALOGUE OF SHIPWRECKED BOOKS: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library by Edward Wilson-Lee (Scribner, March)

‘This isn’t only a biography of Christopher Columbus and his son Hernando; it’s also a paean to the family library, which at its peak contained 20,000 printed materials, including music and images, obsessively collected from all over Europe.’ – Publishers Weekly, ‘Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2019’

And here’s a reminder of the Blake Friedmann titles and authors mentioned in Best of 2018 lists.


Marteinn Thorrison’s SILENT WITNESS episode broadcast to critical acclaim

Parts 1 and 2 of Marteinn Thorisson’s first SILENT WITNESS episode, DEATHMAKER , were broadcast this week to critical acclaim.

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Marteinn’s ‘intricate’, ‘sensitively done’ drama sees Nikki and the forensic team embroiled in a case which has the Irish Troubles at its heart, and involves two retired IRA men, a decades old grudge, and a desperate desire for retribution.

You can read a review here:

You can catch both parts of Marteinn’s episode on iPlayer here:


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Farrago has acquired World English Language rights for two Essex-based crime novels by Jennifer Stone from Hattie Grünewald at Blake Friedmann. CHERRY SLICE is Jennifer’s debut novel and is scheduled for publication in October 2019.

CHERRY SLICE is the story of investigative reporter, cake-baker and amateur sleuth Cherry Hinton. When Kenny Thorpe, contestant in Big Blubber, the hot new celebrity weight-loss show, is murdered on live television in front of 3 million viewers the case seems pretty watertight. After all, everyone saw whodunit. Barry Davis even confessed. Cherry knows there’s more to this than meets the eye... Is Barry innocent? What is Kenny’s connection to infamous gangster Leon Solent? Is Expose to blame, and is there a killer still on the loose?

Jennifer Stone says:

‘I'm thrilled that CHERRY SLICE is going to be published; Farrago is the perfect home for my characters. I'm looking forward to working in partnership with them and especially big thanks must go to Hattie Grünewald at Blake Friedmann for introducing us.’

 Abbie Headon of Farrago says:

‘From the moment I started reading Jennifer’s manuscript I was hooked. Cherry Hinton is a heroine for our times: funny, resilient and unafraid to get stuck into risky situations to find out the truth. CHERRY SLICE has an inclusive cast of characters, and doesn’t shy away from the most embarrassing moments of human life – it made me laugh and cringe and come out whooping with joy, and it’s exactly the kind of bold, funny writing we need right now.’

 About the author:

Jennifer Stone was born in Essex and spent her formative years living within its borders and enjoying the delights of the multiple night clubs and alcopop swigging opportunities available. After a stint in North Wales acquiring a degree and a further spell in Leeds, training to be a teacher, she returned to the south of England to teach English in a variety of schools. She is currently head of English at a boarding school in Suffolk and has just completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime) at UEA. She lives with her wife and their small son.



Credit: Nina Hollington

Credit: Nina Hollington

UK and BC rights to Lyndall Gordon’s ELIOT AMONG THE WOMEN, which draws on over 1,000 letters T.S. Eliot wrote to Emily Hale, have been acquired by Virago chair Lennie Goodings, who described it as ‘a literary landmark book’. The deal was concluded by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann. In the US Norton have acquired rights in a deal arranged by Georges Borchardt. Publication will be in 2022, the centenary of Eliot’s great long poem, THE WASTE LAND. 

Emily Hale and T.S. Eliot

Emily Hale and T.S. Eliot

Lennie Goodings said: ‘ELIOT AMONG THE WOMEN is the book Lyndall Gordon was born to write; it draws on all her intuitive understanding of this mysterious poet. We are thrilled.’ 

ELIOT AMONG THE WOMEN by the pre-eminent T.S. Eliot biographer, Lyndall Gordon, is set to be one of the most important books on this poet, whose life was shaped by four women who became part of his work. Eliot’s first wife Vivienne Haigh Wood, Mary Trevelyan, a companion, and Valerie Fletcher, his second wife, are well known, but there was another woman who came first – Emily Hale.

Over 1,000 letters from T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale

Over 1,000 letters from T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale

T.S. Eliot wrote to Emily Hale from 1930 to 1956 and the 1,131 letters at Princeton comprise the largest single series of the poet’s correspondence. These letters have been sealed to the public for over sixty years, housed in twelve boxes at Princeton University Library. In January 2020 they will have their steel security bands cut and his letters to her will be revealed to researchers for the first time. Lyndall Gordon will be there when they are opened, to fulfil her belief that Eliot’s secret attachment to this Boston-born teacher of drama is central to understanding his most private emotions during the decades when his creativity was at its height. 

As Virago’s press statement adds: 'ELIOT AMONG THE WOMEN, leading with the newly-revealed letters, and including all the women who were close to him, his mother too and also his well-matched first publisher, Virginia Woolf, will be another ground-breaking work from the biographer who has spent over forty years with her subject.' 

A much-celebrated biographer, Lyndall Gordon lives in Oxford. Among other accolades, she has won the Cheltenham Prize and the James Tait Black prize, been long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and shortlisted for the Comisso Prize in Italy for Fazi’s edition of her acclaimed Emily Dickinson biography LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS.

Lyndall Gordon’s biographies – of Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Henry James, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Dickinson and Mary Wollstonecraft – have all drawn widespread praise, and many are published in translation. She is also the author of two memoirs SHARED LIVES and DIVIDED LIVES. Her most recent book, OUTSIDERS, draws on the lives and striking works of Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Emily Brontë and Virginia Woolf and will soon be published in the US by Johns Hopkins University Press. All her books have been published in the UK by Virago.

Praise for Lyndall Gordon

‘Literary bloodhound and superbly eloquent chronicler.’ – Booklist

‘Gordon, a...superb literary biographer who has previously turned her level yet lyrical gaze to Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Wollstonecraft and others.’ – Seattle Times

A biographer with soul, she reaches into the hearts of those she brings alive for us. She makes the meaning of their lives sing and sweat as she invites us into their experiences, their longings, their struggles and their disappointments.’ – Susie Orbach, The Observer

‘Lyndall Gordon must be one of the most accomplished literary biographers of this generation…outstanding and stimulating.’ – British Book News

Visit Lyndall Gordon’s website.

Kate Burke joins Blake Friedmann

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Kate Burke has joined The Blake Friedmann Literary Agency as a senior agent and will focus on commercial fiction. 

Burke previously worked as an agent at Northbank Talent Management for six years, and before that spent 10 years as a fiction publisher, at Headline, HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. 

Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann's head of books, said: “I’ve been impressed by Kate’s energy and experience, her editorial eye and agenting acumen, and am thrilled to welcome her on board. This is an exciting time for the agency, with such a fine array of authors represented by our agents, and we’re looking forward to Kate being part of this dynamic team.”

Burke said: “I’m delighted to have joined such a prestigious and collegiate team, and am looking forward to many exciting years ahead.” 

She is open to submissions across all fiction genres and can be contacted at: