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Manilla Press acquires memoir from iconic courtroom sketch artist Jane Rosenberg

Manilla Press, the boutique home for high quality fiction and narrative non-fiction at Bonnier Books UK’s Zaffre Publishing Group, will publish Drawn Testimony: Sketching a generation’s most iconic criminal cases by Jane Rosenberg

UK & Commonwealth rights (exc. Canada) were acquired at auction by editor Ellie Carr from Adam Gauntlett at Peters, Fraser + Dunlop. 

Jane Rosenberg is one of America’s pre-eminent courtroom sketch artists, but the power of her work and the global significance of the cases she has drawn have lent her international renown. For over forty years, she’s been at the heart of the story, covering almost every major trial that has passed through the American justice system. 

During her time in the courtroom, her pastels have captured numerous notorious faces, from Ghislaine Maxwell to Harvey Weinstein, Sam Bankman-Fried to Donald Trump. Jane has sketched as Wall Street titans have fallen; as police brutality was spotlighted, sparking the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement; and as #MeToo was gathering momentum outside the courtroom doors. 

Whilst providing insight into her fascinating career and these infamous trials, Jane offers the reader something entirely new – a moving and discerning view of a courtroom and its cast, focusing on emotion above procedure; rather than analysis of evidence we are presented with the barely perceptible shifts in a defendant’s body language, the absence or abundance of feeling in their expression. The result is remarkable and sheds new light not only on the individual cases she represents, but on the human condition as a whole. 

Author Jane Rosenberg said: ‘Since I first took my sketchpad into a courtroom over forty years ago, people have been asking me what my job is like. Drawn Testimony is my answer. It takes you with me into the courtroom and beyond it: from lining up outside in the freezing cold to the scramble for a good seat, and the rush to commit the scene in front of me to paper. I hope it shows why this is a job I often love, sometimes hate and continue to be fascinated by, even after all this time.’

Ellie Carr said: ‘Jane is an incredibly talented courtroom artist, but what I have found equally as impressive is her ability to distil this fascinating art form into words. She explains her craft with such gripping and honest prose that leaves the reader in awe of both her ability and the world in which she works. I am absolutely thrilled to publishing this on the Manilla list and cannot wait for readers to have the chance to experience some of the world’s most iconic criminal cases through the eyes of one of the industry’s most respected courtroom artists.’

Drawn Testimony: Sketching a generation’s most iconic criminal cases by Jane Rosenberg will be published by Manilla Press on 13th August 2024 in HB, ebook and audiobook.