Meet the Team – Mary Darby

What is your role at the agency?

Head of International Rights.

I oversee the agencies’ authors’ translation rights, more specifically handling language rights in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France and the Nordic territories.

How did you get into publishing?

I’ve been in the DA Rights Team since 2011 – when I joined, I was also working part-time at Bloomsbury Publishing and part-time at Stanford’s Map and Travel Book Shop in Covent Garden. Both were fun and brilliant paths to a career in publishing.

What’s the best part of your job?

SO many good parts to this job. I think the reason I’m still in rights after 11 years is that it marries all of my main interests; books, reading, travelling, cultures, people, languages, geography and business. I’m actually constantly amazed that this job even exists.

What’s on your “to be read” list?

I’ll read anything and everything by Malcolm Gladwell. And my stack of books to be read is enormous and has been growing at an alarming rate recently because I just discovered Nora Ephron and James Baldwin (late to the game I know).

Having read I Feel Bad About My Neck (Ephron) and Giovanni’s Room (Baldwin) I walked down to Daunt books and bought everything I could by both authors. I also picked up Joan Didion’s memoir Where I was From.

While I don’t have a lot of time for reading outside of work books, I’m really enjoying reading accounts of the pioneers and early settlers in California. Which reminds me of another favourite author of mine, John Steinbeck. Stories of epic journeys will always be top of my list with a standout character.

Who is your favourite fiction character?

I could never pick a favourite! Frankie, played by Lily Tomlin in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, is my current favourite though. She’s so passionate, caring, unconventional and open-hearted and totally unselfconscious – beautifully balancing Jane Fonda’s character, Grace. Which is what makes this series sparkle: it celebrates female friendship through two female characters in their eighties!

The series doesn’t shy away from the issues facing the older generations, but it does show there are more ways to grow old than we would usually see in entertainment either on the page or screen.  They turn their lives into something more incredible, more exciting, more fulfilling and more inspiring than anything they could have achieved otherwise! The series really ought to be named Frankie and Grace though.

What is your go to reading snack?

I don’t eat when I read!

What book are you most looking forward to reading?

It was my birthday last week and I received The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry and Serious Concerns by Wendy Hope. I have dipped into both already and can’t wait to read more!

One Comment Add yours

  1. mpdwane123 says:

    Finally Steinbeck is mentioned – by a lady who does not eat while reading – perfect!

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