One of the most special moments for me as agent is to meet an author who has already decided to be represented by Pontas and for whom we have started to work before any personal contact: only through trust, phone calls and emails. Last Wednesday November 26th I went to London to meet Parvati Nair and Susan Abulhawa for the first time. Two authors we are honoured to represent worldwide since a few months ago.
I met Parvati Nair at the Foyles Bookshop Café on Charing Cross Road. We recognized each other immediately. She speaks an incredibly perfect Spanish language. Born in Oslo, where her father was the Indian ambassador, she has also been living in Warsow, Rabat, Tunis, Madrid and New Delhi and is a real citizen of the world with so many interesting stories to tell! She is now a professor of Spanish literature at the University of London (one of her students was having a tea and reading not far from us…) andUnspeakable, still unpublished, is her first novel. Being married to an American man, it was impossible not to talk about politics, about our hope in Barack Obama…
How did Parvati Nair become a Pontas author? She bought Daughter of Ganges by Asha Miró in a bookshop in Granada (where she goes very often since she has a house in a village nearby!) and she found Pontas mentioned somewhere in the book. She looked at our website and decided to contact us… Now we really have to succeed in finding a good publishing house for her novel and we’ re looking forward to read her new manuscript we discussed about as soon as possible!
Later on that same day, I met Susan Abulhawa at the door of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel. She had invited me to join her there at a fundraising gala dinner of the Foundation for Al-Quds Medical University in Jerusalem. Susan was dressed up carrying an unwrapped bottle of Palestinian olive oil made in Jenin. That got me! I’ve been bringing Spanish olive oil all over as a present for so many years and that was the first time someone offered a bottle to me! And of course having carefully read her novel, The Scar of David(translation rights already sold into seven languages!), this present was very special. Susan Abulhawa lives in Pennsylvania as a Palestinian in exile since she was a teenager and was just in London for a few days, so I couldn’t miss her! Five minutes after she had introduced to me her friend Dr. Craig Miller, also just arrived from the US, we were discussing about politics in the Middle East, the Palestinian situation, about Barack Obama, about books, films and travelling with the same passion as if we were old friends!
How did Susan Abulhawa become a Pontas author? It was her French publisher’s idea! Marc Parent from Buchet Chastel told her that it could work and he was more than right! Now we have to succeed in sellingThe Scar of David’s translation rights into Arabic and Hebrew as it is Susan’s dream. Besides trying to sell film rights, which is mine! And we’ll be waiting forward to read her new manuscript soon too!