Home 5 News 5 Somali Author Salma Ibrahim Lands Two-Book Deal with Mantle

Somali Author Salma Ibrahim Lands Two-Book Deal with Mantle

by | Apr 1, 2024 | News

Somali writer Salma Ibrahim, founder of London-based Literary Natives, a platform for writers of colour, has sold her debut novel Salutation Road to Mantle, part of Pan Macmillan, in a two-book deal.

Kinza Azira, commissioning editor, acquired world rights in a two-way auction from John Baker at Bell Lomax Moreton. Salutation Road will be published as a lead fiction début in spring 2025 with the second book in the deal scheduled to follow in 2026.

Ibrahim’s début follows 24-year-old Sirad, a first-generation immigrant in London who is “offered the unique opportunity to visit a present-day Mogadishu – for one day only – and meet a version of herself and her family as if they had never been forced to flee the Somali Civil War”. When she returns to her home in south-east London, Sirad must be content with all that she now knows.

Azira said: “Salutation Road  is the untold story of the everyday struggle of immigration, of loneliness, love, letting go of a past that never existed and the ultimate question of ‘what if?’. Salma’s début is beautifully told, deeply resonant and feels essential in the current political and social climate. I am so honoured to be publishing her début on the Mantle list in spring 2025.”

Ibrahim added: “My journey to this point has been extraordinary. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have my début novel published next year with Mantle. I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect publisher for my story. This has truly come at the right time. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way and to John and Kinza for investing in my writing.”

Ibrahim is the founder and producer of Literary Natives, an organisation that supports writers of colour by sharing opportunities and hosting events.

Explaining her exasperation with the lack of diversity in publishing, she wrote:  “With a desire to change this, I went online to look for events where I could meet other writers who I could relate to. I remember running down High Holborn [in central London] to make it in time for a writing event fuelled with alcohol in a place where I felt out of place as a Somali hijab-wearing woman. I’ve been to writing workshops with people who couldn’t relate to who I was as a writer and my worldview. Something had to change for writers of colour like me who didn’t want to fit the mould of what a writer should look like. I wanted to believe that there could be a place for us.”

 

She went on to establish Literary Natives which now feature essays by high profile writers of colour such as Zadie Smith and Colson Whitehead.

 

 

 

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