Penguin Canada to publish 1982 by Jian Ghomeshi
Toronto, October 31, 2011 - Publishing Director Diane Turbide has acquired rights to 1982 by Jian Ghomeshi, a literary memoir based on a 14-year-old's desire to be David Bowie. Set in one year of his life, and to the confusion and alarm of his Iranian parents, Ghomeshi tries to transform himself into a New Waver, determined to be the perfect guy to win the heart of an older woman - 16-year-old Wendy, the girl he considers to be the female Bowie of Thornhill, Ontario.
In the style of two of his literary heroes, Nick Hornby and David Byrne, Ghomeshi has penned a literary debut both funny and moving, capturing a place and time in a loose chronological narrative structured around twelve songs and symbolic moments from the fall of 1981 to the summer of 1983.
In 1982, The Clash released Combat Rock, Michael Jackson unleashed Thriller, President Ronald Reagan was recovering from gunshot wounds, the Commodore 64 was introduced, and the Falklands War raged. In the midst of that, Ghomeshi says, he transformed himself from "a naïve 14-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids to something much more: a naïve eyeliner-wearing 15-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids."
"1982 was a pivotal period in my life," writes the author. "I acquired the black clothing and the hair gel to be New Wave. To be Bowie. By which I mean, almost Bowie. I was probably the first Persian-Canadian New Waver. Well, I was probably the only Persian-Canadian New Waver."
"Jian is one of Canada's best known broadcasters, yet he's chosen not to write a 'celebrity memoir,' says publishing director Diane Turbide. "Instead, he's writing a wryly funny, almost novelistic, account of a young man's coming of age that also works as a cultural history of the eighties, Canadian suburbia and the changing nature of cool. We're thrilled to be publishing 1982."
Jian Ghomeshi is the host and co-creator of the national daily talk program Q on CBC Radio One and CBC TV. Since its inception in 2007, Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has become the highest-rated show in its morning time slot in CBC history.
Ghomeshi has interviewed an array of prominent international figures from prime ministers to sports stars and cultural icons. His feature interview subjects on Q have included Woody Allen, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Walters, Tom Waits, William Shatner, Jay-Z, Al Gore, Margaret Atwood, Billy Bob Thornton (infamously) and - in a television world exclusive - Leonard Cohen. He will host the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize Awards and CBC's Canada Reads in 2012.
The book deal was negotiated by literary agent Marc Gerald at The Agency Group - New York. 1982 will be published under Penguin's Viking imprint in fall 2012.