My publisher in Delhi, HarperCollins India, is publishing a rather moody and stylish cover for BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN. Rather cool, I think.
Foreign publishers have been slowly but steadily buying into Buddhaland Brooklyn. First to sign in was HarperCollins Publishers India. This is especially sweet to me. HarperCollins India gave me my first break in publishing, buying my little novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, when it was a mere novella and then having me come to India for a book tour. Shortly thereafter the walls of indifference that I had met in the US and the UK crumbled, all because of the extremely generous reviews I received in India.
The classy Italian publisher, Neri Pozza, has also bought into Buddhaland Brooklyn. They, too, were among my first supporters in Europe and it’s a huge vote of confidence that this respected publisher, fighting it out in the stressed Italian economy, so believe in my skills as a writer that they have again placed a bet on my fiction.
Pretty fine, particularly since just north of the Italian border, the Pendo imprint of the great German publisher Piper Verlag, have also signed on. Pendo is the powerhouse that produced the elegant German hardback of my first novel and has come back for seconds, even before they have released the paperback of my first novel. For some reason I can’t pull Pendo’s logo off their home page, but the absence of a logo here doesn’t mean tepid excitement. Quite the opposite. It’s red-hot.
My Australian publisher, Allen & Unwin, created the eye-catching split cover for The Hundred-Foot Journey that was adopted in the U.S. and the UK and helped turn that book into an international bestseller. The talented artists at Allen & Unwin have once again created an outstanding example of cover art, in my opinion, with this warm and elegant front flap for Buddhaland Brooklyn (see above left). I can honestly say that both the Scribner cover (right) and Allen & Unwin’s efforts, each very different, are very pleasing to my eye. May both houses be rewarded for their efforts.
One of the finest publishers I came across when The Hundred-Foot Journey started its rollout across twenty-one territories around the globe, was Australia’s much-respected independent, Allen & Unwin. The firm was voted Australia’s Publisher of the Year in 2011.
I am not surprised Allen & Unwin got it’s 10th industry hat-tip. I found that right off the bat, everyone from Allen & Unwin’s managing director, Patrick Gallagher, to its charming publisher, Annette Barlow, put their weight behind my tale of the Haji family and powered my little book right through the bookshops of Australia.
It was seriously impressive to watch these publishing pros at work. What they accomplished with my novel in Australia and New Zealand speaks for itself, including the fact that Scribner in the US and Alma in the UK dropped their own The Hundred-Foot Journey covers to adopt Allen & Unwin’s stunning design. That’s the sincerest form of flattery.
So imagine my delight when I learned Allen & Unwin have signed up for round two of the Morais merry-go-round. My Australian publishers are publishing BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN in September of this year.
Woohooo! That means all my publishers in the US, UK, and Aus/NZ have come back for seconds – a huge vote of confidence, for which I am very grateful. Life can indeed be very good.
May they all be handsomely rewarded.
I am delighted to announce that my UK publishers, the talented husband-and-wife team that built both Alma Books and Alma Classics, will be publishing BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN in late February or early March in 2013.
BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN, to be published in the US July 17 by Scribner, is about a repressed Buddhist priest sent to New York to open a temple.
Alessandro Gallenzi and Elisabetta Minervini have created an author’s publisher in Alma Books, their passion for literature defying the cynicism of the modern book industry. They did a wonderful job publishing The Hundred-Foot Journey in the UK, and I can honestly say that their tag line – “A publisher with a soul” – pretty neatly sums up Alma Books.
If you doubt my word just read their recently published Brilliance by Anthony McCarten, a riveting tale about an impoverished Thomas Edison getting sucked into the bear-like embrace of the famous American banker, J. P. Morgan.
McCarten sure can write. The first line of the novel – “The inventor poured himself a glass of milk and listened for the twentieth century” – had me hooked. Alma Books quietly and consistently produces such intelligent, well-written books for discerning readers who love literature. So I am thrilled my scribbles are included in Alma’s exquisite portfolio of contemporary novels.
Happy New Year folks. May we all enjoy a quality vintage in 2012. I think we’re all overdue for a good year.
As to my 2012 calendar, besides a move to New York, I have the joy of overseeing the birth of my second novel. On July 17, 2012, Scribner publishes BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN.
Here’s a taste of what to expect:
Featuring rich descriptions and a cast of eccentric characters, this is a contemporary fable about a Japanese Buddhist priest who ends up finding himself in the unlikeliest of places. Growing up in a quaint mountainside village in Japan, Seido Oda’s boyhood is spent fishing in clear mountainside streams and helping his parents run their small inn. At the age of eleven, Oda is sent to study with the monks at a nearby Buddhist temple. This peaceful, quiet refuge in the remote mountains of Japan is the only home the introverted monk has ever known until he approaches his fortieth birthday and is ordered by his superior to cross the ocean and open a temple in Brooklyn.
Ripped from the isolated, serene life of his homeland temple, Oda encounters a shock to the system in New York—a motley crew of American Buddhists whose misguided practices lead to a host of hilarious cultural misunderstandings. It is only when Oda comes to appreciate the Americans, flaws and all, that he sees his own shortcomings and finally finds that sense of belonging he has always sought.
A lively and vivid novel, this entertaining and edifying meditation on the meaning of true acceptance stirs from the very first page.
More from up north where my little book appears to be doing quite well.
Here is a fun take from a librarian and book lover with her own blog roll of reviews.
My childhood friend, Eric Felber, lives in Calgary, Canada. He called to tell me he was in his local Costco and The Hundred-Foot Journey was piled high at the front of the store and the good folk of Canada were grabbing my book. Love to hear it. All this because Costco Canada buyer Catherine Bergeron made it her top pick.
Here, too, is a very generous critique in the Toronto Sun by that foodie pro, Rita Demontis.
As my editor says, we need to summer in Canada and winter in Australia. Both these Commonwealth nations have been very good to me and my little book.
Got my Canadian passport dusted off.
Here is my Penta review of one of the greatest books every written about a business family in slow decline.
Nord Deutsche Rundfunk is the equivalent of PBS for the northern half of Germany. Part of their cultural programming on the radio this week was “Das Gemischte Doppel,” a literary segment in which two urbane literary critics (Annemarie Stoltenberg and Rainer Moritz) pitched what they believe are the best books getting published in Germany during the fall of 2011. You’ve got to love high-brow Germans – this charming radio show, with breaks, lasted three hours and was moderated by Raliza Nikolov. Germanic love of literature just oozes from this slot.
There is, of course, a self-serving purpose to all this. My German publisher, Pendo Verlag, is publishing The Hundred-Foot Journey on September 29th, under the German title, Madame Mallory und der kleine indische Küchenchef. The erudite critics on the NDR show named my little book one of the top 21 books getting published in Germany this fall, up there with Per Petterson and Pete Dexter.
“Das ist ein so schöner Roman, der von lebeslust und freude gerade so sprühlt,” said Frau Stoltenberg. Roughly translated: “This is such a lovely novel, it sparkles with joie de vivre and fun.” For those who speak German and care to listen in, here is the link to the entire show. My book is introduced roughly 19 minutes into the second stretch. Interestingly, one of the two key themes of German publishing this fall, according to these critics, is “artistic fulfillment” (the other is “old age”.) Herr Moritz has a name for novels like mine – “intelligent entertainment,” which is not to be confused with low-brow entertainment.
Not sure what all this means exactly, but it sure sounds nice. This website has run the NDR critics’ list of 21 books under the headline, “Best Books Of Fall Named Before The Frankfurt Book Fair.” Sweet!