My friend Lynn Michell owns Linen Press. A year ago she told me that negotiations were underway to sign Maureen Freely to Linen Press. This would be a coup for her as previously Ms Freely was published by Penguin and Bloomsbury amongst others. I was told not to tell anybody. And now, I've just received an email from Lynn with the following press release:
'Independent publisher Linen Press has acquired Maureen Freely's seventh novel, Sailing Through Byzantium.
The publisher acquired world rights in all languages from Derek Johns at A P Watt at United Agents, with plans to publish in October.
Freely is a novelist, translator and activist, and is perhaps best known for her translations of five books by Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk.
Sailing Through Byzantium is described by the publisher as "a magical, multi-layered novel about history and memory, and how we interpret reality", set in Istanbul in 1962. It tells the story of nine-year-old Mimi, whose parents and bohemian friends are marking the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis with an end-of-the-world party.
Freely has previously been published by houses including Penguin, Bloomsbury, Marion Boyars Publishers and Verso. She was born in the US but grew up in the Turkey, and has spent most of her adult life in England.'
And I can tell the world!