Penguin Press Buys First Novel with Salman and Toni’s Seal of Approval

Taiye Selasi’s first novel may not be finished, but Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison already approve.

The version of Selasi’s Ghana Must Go that Andrew Wylie sold this week to Ann Godoff at Penguin Press consisted of a hundred or so pages plus an outline. Even so, Wylie was wooing publishers by saying he would deliver blurbs from his client Rushdie as well as Morrison. Considering that an agent might typically mention a writer’s “very supportive” teacher as someone who “would be open” to blurbing, that’s a bold move with some big names. 

Perhaps the endorsements explain why Godoff swooped up the unfinished novel in a two-book deal. Ghana Must Go reportedly opens with a scene of a father who’s about to die, and traces the saga of his disintegrating family back to Africa. Selasi’s second book, with the working title Generations, will be a fantasy novel.

Neither Wylie nor Godoff could be reached for comment.