July 4th, 2016

‘Dark Chapter’, the debut novel by Winnie M Li, will be published worldwide in 2017

Dark Chapter is the powerful debut novel by Winnie M Li, a Taiwanese-American writer based in London. At Pontas we totally believe this is a very important piece of fiction and that Winnie M Li an extremely gifted writer and powerful voice. Last year, an excerpt of Dark Chapter was Highly Commended/Runner-Up for the CWA Debut Dagger. We are delighted to announce two English rights deals for this debut novel: English rights for North America (US & Canada) have gone to the passionate and independent publisher Jason Pinter, who has recently founded Polis Books; and English rights for UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) have finally gone to Lauren Parsons at Legend Press after a very close two-way auction.

Jason Pinter founded Polis Books in 2013, after working as an editor for Warner Books, Random House, and St. Martin’s Press, and in marketing and publicity at Grove/Atlantic. He said: «I was riveted by Dark Chapter, and believe it can straddle a line between literary fiction and crime. I'm so beyond thrilled. I love Dark Chapter and will be so proud to publish it and Winnie.»

Lauren Parsons, at Legend Press, said: «I absolutely loved Winnie’s book. I found both narratives totally absorbing. Johnny’s sardonic tone is interesting, yet unnerving. At times, it prompts a humorous response from the reader, creating an uncomfortable yet gripping affiliation with the character as an amoral protagonist. The construction of this character is particularly innovative. I think there are numerous debates the reader could have, for instance when Vivian is hesitant to label Johnny as a monster just because of a monstrous act. It’s a wonderfully fresh novel that I think would be a fantastic addition to our 2017 list.»

Also, Swedish translation rights have already been acquired by Gunilla Sondell at Norstedts, who said: «Dark Chapter features a strong narrative and restrained tone that gives the reader plenty of space to consider what's really taking place.»

Winnie M Li is an Taiwanese-American (she grew up in New Jersey and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard) who currently lives in London and has worked in the British and international film industries for several years. You can find much more information about her and her activism and social work, as well as some articles and interviews in her blog. For instance, you can read her article on the Stanford sexual assault case that has been taken by media outlets such as Time Magazine, Independent, ABC Australia, etc.

«Deftly written, pacey and unflinching, I could not put down Dark Chapter. Winnie Li is a rare talent with an explosive and timely story. Do not miss it.» Marti Leimbach, bestselling author of Dying Young and Daniel Isn’t Talking

And here's part of the team at Pontas, celebrating this double English rights deal for Winnie M Li: