W.F. Howes acquires exclusive audio rights to Girl by Edna O’Brien
Olivier award-winning actor, Sheila Atim, to narrate powerful novel about a girl captured by Boko Haram
W.F. Howes Ltd has acquired exclusive UK and Commonwealth audio rights to Irish novelist Edna O’Brien’s new book Girl, and will publish the audiobook on 26 September 2019.
O’Brien’s critically acclaimed 19th novel tells the harrowing story of Maryam, who is captured, abducted, and married into the Boko Haram. Witnessing and suffering the horrors and barbarism of a community of men governed by a ruthless code of violence, Maryam, barely more than a girl herself, must soon learn how to survive as a woman with a child of her own amidst the turmoil of north-eastern Nigeria.
Girl will be narrated by Sheila Atim, winner of the 2018 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as Marriane in Bob Dylan’s Girl from the North Country, and the Critics’ Choice Award for Most Promising Newcomer 2018. The multi-talented actor, who has been involved in stage productions at Shakespeare’s Globe and National Theatre, also composed the score for stage show Time is Love.
Laura Smith, acquiring editor at W.F. Howes, secured the unabridged audio rights for the title from Silvia Molteni at Peters Fraser and Dunlop. She commented: “We are thrilled to be releasing this powerful, emotive and thought-provoking title, which tackles such hard-hitting subject matter and is already generating a huge amount of interest and positive reviews. Sheila is one of the country’s most exciting and talented actors and we are pleased to have her on board to interpret the voice of Maryam, bringing her unique quality, dynamism, and sensitivity to the role.”
Girl has already been warmly received by the literary community, with Hephzibah Anderson of the Mail on Sunday labelling the novel “A book that demands to be read and won’t be forgotten”, Christina Patterson at The Sunday Times assuring readers that “it will blast you with its searing, savage beauty”, and Ian McKellen referring to the novel as “an utterly unique achievement.”