Amaurea Press acquires ‘timeless’ memoir from award-winning writer Lisa St Aubin de Terán, marking her return to the literary limelight with first publishing for almost 20 years

Woman smiling

Amaurea Press have acquired the first publishing from prize-winning writer Lisa St Aubin de Terán in almost 20 years. Publisher Jonathan Curry-Machado, of Amaurea Press, acquired the worldwide rights for the first English-language edition from Lisa, represented by her agent Andrew Lownie.

Amaurea Press will also be publishing new editions of Lisa St Aubin de Terán’s previous books, beginning in October 2023 with her first three: Keepers of the House (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), The Slow Train to Milan (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), and The Tiger. Over the coming months, the subsequent titles will all be brought back into print.

Better Broken Than New: A Fragmented Memoir by Lisa St Aubin de Terán will be published in hardback on 24 January 2024.

Following a successful writing career – which saw the Anglo-Guyanese London-born author publish 20 works of fiction, short stories and nonfiction, including the bestselling Keepers of the House, Hacienda and The Slow Train to MilanLisa St Aubin de Terán retreated to a remote village in northern Mozambique: there she found her own African roots, founded a charity (The Terán Foundation) and confronted new challenges.

Much has been written about Lisa’s life and escapades with a trio of Venezuelan exiles, life on an Andean hacienda, her return to literary fame, and two decades living in a crumbling Umbrian palace. But despite all the attention surrounding her, she managed to hide much of her actual life.

Now, like the Japanese art of kintsugi, in this new memoir Lisa puts the shattered pieces of her life back together, filling in many of the dramatic, and often scandalous, gaps. While her life has been said to be stranger than fiction, it is fiction that has kept her afloat. This autobiography sets the record straight and shows a writer who for over half a century has enjoyed following her dreams, even when those dreams outdistanced her reach.

Lisa St Aubin de Terán, said: “From 2004 to 2015, I was content to drift along by the Indian Ocean, on the edge of a mud hut village, raising hopes and lowering fevers, gardening, and writing my books. Then a near-death experience changed me. After the attack I realised that despite all my past publicity, many of the events that had shaped me were still secret and many of my own secrets were still untold.

So, I sat down to write Better Broken than New, a fragmented memoir to set the record straight and fill in the gaps. And in 2020 I finally reached out to my support network in London only to find that it had slipped away.

Galvanised by a particularly brutal cyclone taking the roof off the house I was living in, I eventually made it back to the UK. And now, based on a houseboat on the  River Thames, I am on the brink of re launching my career with three new books and dozens of short stories and I am as excited this time around as I was when my first novel was accepted.

Much as I loved living in Africa and finding my own African roots, I knew I was missing the literary world and meeting my readers, but I didn’t realise quite how much that was until I jumped back in.”

Jonathan Curry-Machado, Publisher at Amaurea Press, said: “It is a real pleasure, and a great honour, that Lisa has chosen Amaurea to publish her new writing. Her ability to fill the world and life with a sense of beauty and age, opportunity and danger, magic and adventure, not only through her words but also her own lived experience, continues to be an inspiration. We are delighted that alongside her new books, we have the opportunity to bring her previous work back into print as well, so that the timelessness of her writing can continue to be discovered and enjoyed by future generations.”

Lisa St Aubin de Terán and Amaurea Press will be working with MIDAS on a wide-reaching publicity campaign for the publication of Better Broken Than New.

For further information, to request a proof copy or interview, please contact hannah.mcmillan@midaspr.co.uk.