Little, Brown acquires ‘Six Years With Al Qaeda: The Stephen McGown Story’

Little, Brown, one of the leading publishing houses in the United Kingdom, has acquired World English rights (excluding southern Africa) to Six Years with Al Qaeda, the incredible story of Stephen McGown’s capture by Islamist militants, his prolonged captivity and ultimate release.

McGown, a “regular guy” from South Africa, decided to make a lifelong dream of a cross-continent motorbike journey come true when he and his wife Cath were returning home from working and living in London in 2011. In Timbuktu, his life took an unexpected turn when he was captured, along with two other men, by members of Al Qaeda. For the next six years, he was involved in the “greatest chess game of his life” which required mental agility, physical endurance, exceptional resilience, and saw him gaining a nuanced perspective of one of the world’s most feared terrorist organisations.

In collaboration with writer Tudor Caradoc-Davies, McGown grippingly relays his story in Six Years with Al Qaeda, which was published locally by Maverick 451, the book publishing arm of Daily Maverick, the highly regarded independent news platform.

Since its publication in November 2020, the book has seen three reprints and garnered interest from all corners in acquiring publishing, film, and television rights.

Six Years with Al Qaeda

After consideration of several offers for World English rights, the rights have gone to Little, Brown in a deal brokered by Catrina Wessels.

Little, Brown aims to publish in various formats in July 2021.

“We are thrilled to have sold the World English rights to Little, Brown,” says Francesca Beighton of Maverick 451. “With a book as important as Steve’s is to us, we did not want to just go with any publisher. We needed to find a home that would really understand the nuances and importance of Steve’s story. Little, Brown is an incredible publishing house with a wonderful body of work. It was the perfect fit for us because, like Maverick 451, their priority is to publish meaningful books and to ensure that that the author is included every step of the way.”

Contact Catrina Wessels with rights queries: catrina@catrinawessels.com.

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