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Blackstock acquires New Yorker staffer Rebecca Mead’s memoir

27th January 2022

Peter Blackstock, Publisher of Grove Press UK and the US editor of Douglas Stuart, Bernardine Evaristo, and Sayaka Murata, has acquired Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return by New Yorker staff writer Rebecca Mead. Blackstock bought UK Commonwealth rights (ex-Canada) from Susanna Lea on behalf of The Robbins Office. Home/Land will be published in hardback and ebook on 21st April 2022.

Rebecca Mead has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1997. She has profiled many subjects and has contributed more than two hundred pieces to the Talk of the Town. She is the author of One Perfect Day and The Road to Middlemarch, a New York Times best seller. She has served as a McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University and is the recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in London.

When the New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead relocated to her birth city, London, with her family in the summer of 2018, she was both fleeing the political situation in America and seeking to expose her son to a wider world. With a keen sense of what she’d given up as she left New York, her home of thirty years, she tried to knit herself into the fabric of a changed London. The move raised poignant questions about place: What does it mean to leave the place you have adopted as home and country? And what is the value and cost of uprooting yourself?

In a deft mix of memoir and reportage, drawing on literature and art, recent and ancient history, and the experience of encounters with individuals, environments and landscapes in New York City and in England, Mead artfully explores themes of identity, nationality and inheritance. She recounts her time in the coastal town of Weymouth, where she grew up; her dizzying first years in New York where she broke into journalism; the rich process of establishing a new home for her dual-national son in London. Along the way, she gradually reckons with the complex legacy of her parents. Home/Land is a stirring inquiry into how to be present where we are, while never forgetting where we have been.

Rebecca Mead says,

Home/Land is a book about both giving up and making a home, and I am delighted that it has found its own home in the UK with the nimble and thoughtful publishing team at Grove Press.’

Peter Blackstock says,

‘As a Brit who has lived in New York for more than a decade, I was predisposed to love Home/Land – but I was delighted when my Atlantic Books colleagues all felt as strongly as I did. Rebecca Mead is an extraordinary writer, with the gift to make these well-known cities new through her brilliant perspective. At a time when the Atlantic Ocean feels wider than ever, Home/Land is a joy to read.’