Niki Chang is a literary agent at The Good Literary Agency. She represents writers of both fiction, non-fiction and a small number of poets.
Before joining TGLA when it opened its doors in May 2018, Niki started her career at Aitken Alexander Associates through a Creative Access internship. She initially worked in the film, TV and stage department before moving into the literary department where she worked with Clare Alexander alongside building her own list. She has worked as a bookseller and lived in Venezuela where she taught music. Niki is from London and has a BA in Modern Languages & Literature from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Latin American Cultural Studies from Birkbeck. In 2019 she won the London Book Fair Trailblazer Award.
More about Niki and what she loves to read
"My first job in publishing was working in the film & TV department of a literary agency. Whilst I loved working at the intersection of different forms of media and storytelling, I jumped at the chance to work in the literary department because good storytelling, for me, always comes back to the writing on the page and a thoughtful engagement with language and expression. When I began to build my list it was, and remains, important to me to represent an array of diverse writers and stories.
My taste is pretty catholic but I do tend towards more literary, voice-driven novels, complicated characters and finely-wrought, nuanced plot. Miriam Toews’ All My Puny Sorrows, Elizabeth Strout’s Amy & Isabelle and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History are good examples of novels which are beautifully written but also page-turning. I’m interested in global stories and stories that take us to faraway places as well as writing which reimagines the ordinary, the familiar and the everyday. I love writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Hanya Yanagihara, Toni Morrison, Garth Greenwell and Kazuo Ishiguro. Short story writers I admire include Borges, David Szalay, Jenny Zhang, Junot Díaz and Kevin Barry.
In non-fiction, I am looking for big ideas books with a strong concept, a rigorous critical framework - be it experiential, theoretical or journalistic - and a commitment to research. The best non-fiction books for me reappraise the world as we know it in an entertaining way; books that do this include Simon Critchley’s Notes on Suicide and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens.
I also love non-fiction books which are rather unhelpfully labelled narrative or creative non-fiction. I like this kind of writing because it is often hybrid in nature, straddling, blending and pushing up against different genres. The way in which these books convey their arguments is as much through the force of their language as their subject matter. Writers I like in this vein include Zadie Smith, Olivia Laing, Margo Jefferson, Ruby Tandoh, Jia Tolentino and Rebecca Solnit.
I am also interested in memoir & biography, self-help with crossover appeal, lifestyle, art & design books and cookery & food writing."