Belfast artist’s new ghost book release date delayed by blockade of Suez Canal

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Belfast author and artist Oliver Jeffers recounted how the publication of his latest book was delayed for a month because the boxes were stuck aboard the huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal.

Copies of Jeffers’ latest picture book, There’s a Ghost in This House, were part of the Ever Given cargo, which got stuck in the canal in March for nearly a week.

The blockade of the Egyptian waterway – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – resulted in delays for hundreds of ships, disrupting global trade. The Ever Given, which carries cargo between Asia and Europe, had 18,000 containers on board, valued at an estimated $ 775 million (£ 558 million).

The Ever Given, part of the Evergreen fleet, left the waterway last month after Egypt signed a compensation agreement with its owners and insurers.

She was due to dock at Felixstowe in April, but the ship finally docked in the seaside town of Suffolk last Tuesday. Jeffers’ illustrated children’s book, which tells the story of a young girl who lives in a haunted house but has never seen a ghost, was due out in September but will now be available on October 5.

The award-winning visual artist, illustrator and writer, who moved with his family from New York to Belfast during the lockdown, explained how the delay happened on his Instagram page.

“The fallout from the ship stuck in the Suez Canal has been long and complicated, and as a result all of the Ghost books are still at sea and will not reach stores in time for the original mid-September launch … Sorry everyone, ”he posted.

To close


Freighter stuck in Suez Canal near Suez, Egypt in March

Freighter stuck in Suez Canal near Suez, Egypt in March

Jeffers also shared photos of the Ever Given blocking the channel with the words “because of it,” followed by a cover photo from his book and the accompanying words “this has a new release date of the 5th. October “.

Described as a “gripping and utterly unique” book by the New York Times bestselling author / illustrator, There’s a Ghost in This House features pages of tracing paper that allow ghosts to appear on every page.

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