Particular Books has acquired Sky Road – described as “an intimate portrait of an extreme place“ – by travel writer Simar Preet Kaur.

Sam Fulton, commissioning editor at Penguin Press, bought English language UK and Commonwealth rights from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates, with publication in hardback scheduled for Spring 2026.

The publisher said: “Simar Preet Kaur left Bombay 10 years ago to live in the remote and inhospitable Indian Himalayas. Here, she embarked on a quest to understand the highest road in the world, the deadly Manali-Leh Highway, from the perspective of the truck drivers who make their living traversing it.

“Compressing 10 years of field research, thousands of interviews and over 100 journeys along the highway, Sky Road, the book is described as “is an intimate portrait of an extreme place, and an oral history of the itinerant community that works there and knows it best.”

The synopsis reads: “At its heart, beneath the hair-raising adventures, otherworldly landscapes and experiments in form, this is a raucous celebration of life lived with chutzpah in the most precarious of circumstances. For mountain truck drivers follow a work philosophy that flouts old wisdom: they load all their eggs in one basket and run with it.” 

Simar Preet Kaur received a PEN America/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History for Sky Road, besides a Literature Fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany, a Charles Wallace Fellowship at University of Stirling, Scotland and a residency at Sangam House, India.

Her work has appeared in various magazines and journals including Commonwealth Writers’ adda, National Geographic Traveler, Papercuts and Stand Magazine.

Simar Preet Kaur said: “Sky Road is a once-in-a-lifetime project for me, crafted out of dream and sustained for over a decade with much energy and grit. I’m thrilled to be published by Particular Books. Kudos to my agent Jessica Woollard for finding a great fit. To my editor Sam Fulton, who really gets the book’s pulse and with whom I look forward to completing the final leg of a long-running adventure. And to the truck drivers of Manali-Leh Highway, whose bold tales I hope the reader will enjoy.”

Fulton said: “I am beyond thrilled to bring Simar Preet Kaur and her glittering Sky Road to Penguin Press. For Simar, too many books write down to their subject. She wants to abolish the subject entirely, elevating the truckers she encounters to the status of collaborators and conspirators, with equal say in how their story is told. The result represents a new kind of travel writing, one which balances humane philosophical inquiry, beautiful lyricism and rip-roaring adventure, laced throughout with the cunning wit of those who spend each day looking death in the eye.”

Source link