In a seven-house auction, Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought world rights to The Carpet and Sour Cherries by debut author Dezh Azaad. Both picture books explore the concept of home from the perspective of an Afghan refugee child: The Carpet is a warm and comforting story about a carpet that connects the family. Sour Cherries is a love letter to the child’s mother and memories of picking and preparing sour cherry delicacies together.
Debut children’s book illustrator Nan Cao will illustrate both titles. Publication is scheduled for Spring 2023 and Spring 2024, respectively; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio brokered the two-book deal for the author and illustrator.
Dezh is an Afghan writer who’s been a refugee his whole life. His debut book for children will be published in Spring 2023 in the United States, followed by a second title in 2024.
Dezh is a trilingual educator currently living in Germany. He speaks English, German, and his native Persian, which he’s taught to refugee children aged six to twelve years old. He’s also led seminars in German for teens and young adults on social change, race, and the climate crisis.
With a background in computer science, Dezh is passionate about sustainable technology. Introducing young people to the possibility of a more equitable worldview brings him great joy.