British publishing powerhouse Hamish Hamilton has acquired the rights to Ekow Eshun’s new book The Stranger, described as a “‘powerfully intimate, richly imagined’ investigation into Black masculinity.”

The Bookseller reports that “Commissioning editor Hermione Thompson bought world rights, excluding North America, from David Godwin at David Godwin Associates.”

According to The Bookseller, The Stranger is “structured around the stories of several remarkable Black men, from the 19th to 21st century and across the global diaspora” and “will set out a ‘radical’ exploration of Black male identity and experience. From Victorian actor Ira Aldridge to philosopher and revolutionary Frantz Fanon to infamous rapper Tupac Shakur, each chapter will find its subject “standing at a crossroads, his life and the society around him in flux”.

The book will be published in hardback, e-book and audio in 2024.

Hermione Thompson describes the book as a “thrilling piece of work in its formal and stylistic innovations” and. notes that it is “a deeply moving act of historical witness and reclamation, reaching toward something essential in the humanity of its subjects and meeting that humanity with the author’s own.”

For Eshun, the book speaks to a deeply personal journey into blackness, history, and masculinity.  He hopes the book will challenge the assumption of “Black masculinity as a fixed, objective condition.” He explains: “I wanted to question the texture or sensibility of Black lives, and to ask how it feels and what it means to be Black and male without presumption of a given answer.”

Born in London to Ghanaian parents in 1968, Ekow Eshun’s studied history at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Black Gold of the Sun (2005), which was nominated for the 2006 Orwell Prize, and Africa State of Mind (2020).