Little A, the literary fiction and nonfiction imprint of Amazon Publishing, have acquired the English language rights of We Can Be Heroes, a memoir by Paul Burston, with publication scheduled for June 2023. The title, from the David Bowie track Heroes, will come as no surprise to followers of Burston’s social media accounts, where much of the author’s posts extol the virtues of both David Bowie and Marlon Brando.
Paul Burston is the founder of the award-winning literary salon Polari and created the UK’s only book prize for LGBTQ+ writing, The Polari Prize. He was chosen as one of the British Council’s Global List of “33 visionary people promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world.”
After escaping the working-class community in small-town South Wales community he grew up in, Paul arrived in London at the start of the AIDS pandemic, and built a successful career as a journalist, TV presenter, novelist, activist and advocate. His work led him to starry encounters with Caroline Aherne, David Bowie, Debbie Harry and Gore Vidal. And then, at the age of 38, Paul nearly died of a drug overdose.
We Can Be Heroes charts Paul’s journey, who at the age of 55, has survived two pandemics and became sober on 1st January 2021.
Victoria Haslam, Editor at Little A, said: “From the moment I started reading Paul’s memoir, I was completely and utterly blown away by what a powerful story he has to tell. Working with Paul on this very special book feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am humbled to introduce a memoir to our readers which contains so much compassion and has so many learnings to take away.”
Paul Burston said: “I’m delighted to be working with Victoria, who really understands where I’m coming from and what I set out to do with this memoir. It’s a deeply personal book and one that covers some sensitive subjects, so it was important to find just the right editor. With Victoria, I know I’m in safe hands.”
Mouncif Faqir from Amazon Books Europe said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul Burston to Amazon Publishing’s Little A list. The Little A list was originally created to shine a light on undiscovered stories, particularly those which have an emotional, personal perspective within bigger conversations, and I cannot imagine a better fit than We Can Be Heroes.”
David Headley said: “Paul’s story is quite enthralling, incredibly moving and touching. I was gripped by Paul’s narrative from the beginning and I think that it is going to be an important publication and will be the success that it deserves. I cannot thank Victoria enough for her passion, which she has shown from the moment she read the manuscript.”