New Mexico-born, Liverpool-based author James Terry and his unusual, playful and smart debut novel The Solitary Woman of Shakespeare, a meta-literary story of a mail-order bride and her ‘adventures’ in a man-only town out in ‘The Territory’, packed with Shakespearean references, has been acquired by the Scottish independent publishing house Sandstone Press. Sandstone Press have acquired UK & Commonwealth rights excluding Canada and will publish The Solitary Woman of Shakespeare in Autumn 2016.
Parallel to this news, the University of New Mexico Press is also preparing an edition of a short story collection by James Terry entitled Kingdom of the Sun, which already has some rave advance reviews, also to be published at the end of 2015.
Although these are two, unconnected editorial projects, both books are thematically linked as they are both set in New Mexico, and they both announce Terry as a promising contemporary literary author to follow closely.
Sandstone Press books have won or been nominated for many literary prizes including the Man Booker, Arthur C Clarke (The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rodgers), Commonwealth, Creative Scotland, Green Carnation, Saltire Society, Petrona, Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition, Boardman Tasker, Not the Booker, and Desmond Elliott Awards.
At Pontas we are delighted to have found the perfect UK publisher for James, a writer who we all felt extremely passionately about since the beginning. His writing is lively, warm, and engaging, as well as deeply intelligent. It also has a playfulness to it that is really singular. We loved the smart and sophisticated idea behind The Solitary Woman of Shakespeare, with clear influences ranging from Enrique Vila-Matas (in the metaliterary aspects) to Patrick de Witt (setting, modernity) or the Cohen Brothers (comical/absurd humor).
Regarding Kingdom of the Sun:
“In the tradition of James Joyce’s Dubliners and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, James Terry’s Kingdom of the Sun uses the town of Deming, New Mexico, to reveal how human character is shaped by the place in which we are raised. Kingdom of the Sun offers an honest, authentic, and poignantly revealing vision of how we become who we are.”—Steve Heller, Antioch University, author of What We Choose to Remember
“Vivid and fiercely singular, the characters in Kingdom of the Sun conceal guilt, lust, and forbidden love beneath their plain exteriors. United by the stark landscape of southwestern New Mexico, these ten stories are remarkable —yearning, occasionally dark, often surprising, and always satisfying.”—Lynn C. Miller, author of The Day After Death
Born in 1970, James Terry grew up in a small New Mexico bordertown, earned his BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in film and television production in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Dublin, Ireland, where he lived for six years, teaching English. His short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and have been nominated for the Pushcart and O. Henry prizes. Since leaving Dublin he has lived and worked in New Delhi, India and Edmonton, Canada. He currently lives in Liverpool, UK, with his wife and his three-year old son, who has an American and an Irish passport and who is about to be living in his fourth country.
For more information: Marina Penalva.