Guardian Faber are delighted to announce the acquisition of The New Odyssey: The Story of the European Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley, to be published summer 2016. Laura Hassan acquired WAL from Jonathan Conway at Jonathan Conway Literary Agency.
Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II – and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the Guardian’s migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. The New Odyssey: The Story of the European Refugee Crisis is Kingsley’s unparalleled account of who these voyagers are. It’s about why they keep coming, and how they do it. It’s about the smugglers who help them on their way, and the coastguards who rescue them at the other end. The volunteers that feed them, the hoteliers that house them, and the border guards trying to keep them out. And the politicians looking the other way.
Kingsley sets a fast pace as he follows one person to the next; riding the trains with Hashem al-Souki as he travels from Syria to Sweden; drinking illicit moonshine with the kingpin smuggler Hajj, an obese Libyan law graduate who makes millions from his new trade; walking with Fattemah Abu al-Rouse, the pregnant Syrian teacher who fears losing her baby as she treks through the Balkans; and driving with Austria’s last wandering shepherd, Hans Breuer, as he rescues desperate refugees from the EU border, and then sings them Yiddish folk-songs.
In The New Odyssey Kingsley will:
Provide the definitive account of the migration crisis, using reporting from 17 countries in three continents
Investigate the multi-million-dollar smuggling industry in Libya, Turkey and Egypt in-depth
Shine a rare light on the land routes to the Libyan coast, which are every bit as traumatic as the Mediterranean crossing. As one interviewee says: “Think of Libya as having two seas. There is the Mediterranean. But in the south of Libya is the sea of the Sahara.”
Examine the sea journey itself, centring on the survivors’ accounts of the Mediterranean’s worst-ever shipwreck which killed 800 people, and on Kingsley’s moving experiences aboard a Mediterranean rescue boat
Tell the story of the eastern European land route, through Kingsley’s multiple hikes with Syrian refugees as they trek through the Greek islands and the Balkans
Expose how local businessmen and corrupt politicians in Italy are profiting from the human misery
Analyse Europe’s dismal response to the migration crisis, and suggest ways it could be handled better
Look at why people choose to risk their lives to make these journeys, particularly through the detailed story of Hashem al-Souki, which will be woven throughout the book.
A percentage of the author royalties will be donated to refugee causes.
Laura Hassan said, ‘The New Odyssey will be a work of original, bold reporting written with a perfect mix of compassion and authority by the journalist who knows the subject better than any other. The writing grabs you by the throat and I can’t think of anything more urgent to read.’
Patrick Kingsley is the Guardian's inaugural Migration Correspondent. He is the winner of the 2013 Frontline Club Award for print journalism, and was named Young Journalist of the Year at the 2014 British Press Awards; New Journalist of the Year at the 2013 British Journalism Awards; and New Voice Award at the 2014 One World Media Awards. The Guardian’s former Egypt correspondent, Patrick has reported from more than 25 countries, including Denmark, where he wrote a travel book called How To Be Danish. The New York Times said it was “fascinating”, the Wall Street Journal “delightful”, and it was a travel book of the month at The Sunday Times. @PatrickKingsley