Pontas is excited to have signed two new English-language writers! While they are each very different and original, they each have written debut novels that will grab literary fiction readers from the first pages.
Seraphina Madsen is an American now living in London and her first novel will be the launch title of a new UK indie publisher, Dodo Ink, founded by a trio of passionate readers who are inspired to publish original fiction that is risk-taking and imaginative. After reading Seraphina's novel in one sitting and then recently meeting her in person for the first time in London, we are thrilled to begin talking to international editors. Imagine a psychedelic road trip with hints of Carlos Castaneda and Hunter S. Thompson, yet also a beautifully written and emotionally engaging story of two sisters who are separated from their parents and each other when they are young. You can see why we're all so excited about Seraphina's writing if you read the beginning of her novel which was published in The White Review.
Diekoye Oyeyinka grew up reading classics of Western literature and his debut novel, Stillborn, owes as much to Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo as it does to Nigerian literature and storytelling. Through the lives of five central characters whose lives intersect, as well as many other characters, all of them unforgettable, Stillborn is a panoramic yet intimate and moving journey through more than fifty years of Nigeria’s turbulent history from independence in 1960 until the present. Diekoye says “the specific inspiration for this book came from a deep-seated frustration with a broken system that was making false promises and aborted dawns the status quo. I document the mistakes of the past so we do not blindly repeat them. The book is a memo to our leaders that we remember even after the headlines have faded.” While many of the events described in the novel are painful, the characters ultimately affirm the power of education, friendship, and love to create new solutions and hope for the future. You can learn more about Diekoye and Stillborn on his Facebook page. The novel was published in Kenya last year and will be submitted to international publishers in a revised form. Jessica Craig said after reading it “I immediately had the sensation that I was in the hands of a very talented and distinctive storyteller and throughout the novel I was delighted by the vivid language and the captivating characters. It’s the first time I’ve absorbed so much about Nigeria in one book that beautifully and confidently weaves together so many different stories, characters, and events.”