Thursday 14 February 2008
A number of years ago,
writes Raja Shahadeh, I was given recommendations of literary agents in London. When I got to ICM and met Kate Jones [obituary by Andrew Franklin, 6 February], I went no further. All the other agents I had met were excellent professionals but with Kate, despite our different backgrounds and experiences, there was an immediate rapport.
There was warmth, there was understanding and there was also integrity. I knew that, with her, I would not get false encouragement. She had the commitment to the cause I was writing about, but also the vision and professional skill to know how best to go about the business of getting my work published. Something deep in me told me that she was the best person to represent me. I immediately trusted her and felt attracted to her, to her mind, to her manner of communicating, to her professional skill and sound, measured approach to the task at hand. It is not easy for a Palestinian writer writing from Palestine about one of the most misunderstood conflicts in the world to find such support. I was extremely fortunate to get hers, as I was her friendship.
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