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Affirm acquires ‘The Birdman’s Wife’ at auction

Affirm Press publisher Fiona Henderson has acquired local and Commonwealth rights at auction to Melissa Ashley’s debut novel The Birdman’s Wife from Lyn Tranter at Australian Literary Management.

The novel, which will be published in late 2016, is based on the life of Elizabeth Gould, the artist and wife of ornithologist John Gould. It is Henderson’s first Australian fiction acquisition for Affirm since joining the publisher in July.

Henderson told Books+Publishing that The Birdman’s Wife is ‘so gloriously original, superbly written and utterly mesmerising that I was captivated from the first page’. ‘Melissa Ashley has created such a vibrant and compelling voice in Elizabeth that her story reads like an intimate and revealing memoir of the artist, wife and mother whose unique talent and adventurous spirit led her from London to the wilds of Van Dieman’s land and New South Wales,’ said Henderson.

Ashley is a writer, poet and academic and teaches creative writing at the University of Queensland.


Category: Local news Rights and acquisitions