WHO WE ARE
Akin Akinwumi — President & Literary Agent
Akin founded Willenfield Literary with the vision for a world-class agency focused on championing literary excellence and cutting-edge thinking. His network of editors and publishers spans the globe, being well-connected to large and small publishing houses throughout North America, Europe, and the Commonwealth. Passionate about nuanced expression in the written form, Akin has a background in academia, teaching, strategic communications, editing, and publishing. He holds a Master’s and PhD in human geography and has lived and worked across four continents.
Akin works predominantly in the areas of literary fiction, literary nonfiction, and general nonfiction. He is drawn to writing that engages at an intellectually complex level — whether fiction or nonfiction. Within the literary fiction category, he leans toward incredibly strong, compelling stories with something important to say about the complexities of human experience. Examples of his taste here include White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish, The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Idiot by Elif Batuman, Florida by Lauren Groff, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley, There There by Tommy Orange, and Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
In literary nonfiction, he is drawn to thoughtful and nuanced writing on a variety of subjects. Examples include I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy, Hunger by Roxane Gay, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, Take This Man by Brando Skyhorse, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li, Bad Land by Jonathan Raban, The Return by Hisham Matar, Feel Free by Zadie Smith, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli, and The Woo-Woo by Lindsay Wong. Among his favourite general nonfiction books are Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, Evicted by Matthew Desmond, and The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú.
Alison Davis — Assistant
Alison handles mail, processes submissions, and provides administrative support to Akin. Please note that she does not accept submissions.