Maya Alexandri appreciation
Maya was one on our very first authors when we decided to launch TSL. Her book, The Celebration Husband, was (and remains) in my opinion a great book – it’s a novel set in Kenya (then British East Africa) during World War 1. In addition, Maya researched the life of Karen Blixen aka Isak Dinnesen who became the basis of her main character.
Since publishing The Celebration Husband, Maya has gone on to write other books and short stories, some of them award-winning. This is great for her as her writing is good, although definitely not my cup of tea (and not published by TSL). The Celebration Husband is an anomaly in her collection – at least at face value, for which I am grateful. It is a pity though that the book hasn’t sold as well as we hoped it would despite it hitting the market at the start of the centenary of the 1914-1918 war. Maya took a chance going with a new publishing house – thank you Maya!
We both learnt a lot about the publishing business and, I think, about ourselves in bringing The Celebration Husband to the world. Despite its rough start, The Celebration Husband continues to sell steadily – evidence of the peaks and troughs of interest in the Firat World War and Africa, and the randomness of social media in engaging an interested reader at the right time.
I know I’m biased by the topic, but I do believe Maya’s encapsulation of the atmosphere of the war in Africa and the adrenalin adventure aspect rival Wilbur Smith’s Assagai (2009) – both books having strong female protagonists (as they were at the time). The war aside, The Celebration Husband is a book about loyalty and betrayal on numerous fronts, adventure and overcoming adversity.
If this is not quite your scene, you might want to try some of her other works – Dylan Thomas being her great influence. However, I strongly recommend The Celebration Husband.