Emma Paterson

I joined Aitken Alexander Associates in 2018 after five years at Rogers, Coleridge & White. Before that, I worked at The Wylie Agency. In 2018, I was selected as a Bookseller Rising Star.

I am looking for literary fiction and a wide range of non-fiction. In fiction, my preference is for character-driven novels and short stories with a strong sense of place and atmosphere, and work which demonstrates an energetic and often critical engagement with the world we live in now. I am drawn especially to the formally ambitious, the radical, the darkly comic and the suspenseful. Good examples of my taste include Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie, Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, Break It Down by Lydia Davis, Veronica by Mary Gaitskill, Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, A Heart So White by Javier Marías, In the Cut by Susanna Moore and Beloved by Toni Morrison. Recent fiction highlights on my own list include Elaine Castillo’s America Is Not the Heart, Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From, Chris Power’s Mothers and Sharlene Teo’s Ponti. I represent Lillian Li, Susanna Moore and Kristen Roupenian in the UK on behalf of their US agents.

In non-fiction, my tastes are broad. I represent a number of high-profile journalists, including Amelia Abraham, Mona Chalabi, Shon Faye, Sam Knight and Ash Sarkar. I am particularly interested in cultural history, literary criticism, and social justice, and I’m keen to discover academics and experts writing in these areas – for example, Emma Dabiri, author of Don’t Touch My Hair – as well as novelists and poets crossing over into creative non-fiction and essay writing, such as Olivia Sudjic, author of the critically-acclaimed Exposure or Kate Lebo in her forthcoming debut, The Book of Difficult Fruit. I am equally stimulated by business, lifestyle or beauty books which offer a fresh, witty angle on a popular topic, such as Otegha Uwagba’s bestselling Little Black Book or Funmi Fetto’s forthcoming beauty bible for women of colour, Palette.

I also represent a small number of poets, including Mary-Jean Chan, Helen Charman, Diana Khoi-Nguyen and Rebecca Tamás.