Chelene Knight and Samantha Haywood are pleased to welcome Kai Thomas to the Transatlantic Agency and announce a major deal for his first novel, In the Upper Country! Kai Thomas is a graduate of University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA, for which the manuscript of In the Upper Country was his thesis work. He has worked on the land in various capacities: building, small-scale farming, outdoor educating, planting trees and his writing stems from those experiences. He is Afro-Canadian, born and raised in Ottawa, descended from Trinidad and the British isles. He is at work on his next book.

And some major deal news! Laura Tisdel of Viking US and Lara Hinchberger of Viking Canada won a competitive six figure auction for North American rights to the historical fiction debut IN THE UPPER COUNTRY by MFA graduate Kai Thomas. Recognizing the interconnected histories of Black and Indigenous resistance in Canada and the US, Kai Thomas’ voice-driven, intricately-constructed narrative braids together unlikely stories of love, enslavement, survival, and familial upheaval, that together echo the nuanced and layered experience of being a Black North American, calling to mind THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead and WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan. (World ex: North America and TV/film contact:

Kai Thomas is represented by Samantha Haywood and Chelene Knight.