The Bookseller – Rights – Transworld bags ‘witty, reassuring and radically ambitious’ memoir from Frizzell

Transworld has bagged a “witty, reassuring and radically ambitious” memoir from The Panic Years author and Vogue columnist Nell Frizzell.  

Helena Gonda, commissioning editor, bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Holding the Baby from Zoe Ross at United Agents. Zoe Berville, senior commissioning editor, is overseeing publication. It will publish in March 2023.  

The publisher described the work as “a memoir culminating in a manifesto”. It said: “Holding the Baby sets out to understand why we still treat early parenthood as an individual slog rather than a shared cultural responsibility. Tracing her own journey to the nadir of sleeplessness via social retreat and murderous rage, Frizzell draws on the latest research to explore the ways in which we fail new parents, and offer a rallying crying that we fight for a better alternative.” 

It continued: “In Holding the Baby, Nell offers a brilliant blend of the personal and political – an honest, reassuring and sharply observed account of her own experience, but also a rallying cry for real change for new parents. We can’t wait to share it with readers next year.” 

Frizzell said: “This is the book I’ve wanted to write ever since I started thinking about writing books. The experience of becoming a parent is, by far, the most significant, most ridiculous, most confronting thing I’ve ever done. It is my Everest, my World Cup, my military coup. It is an experience beyond comprehension and yet probably the most universal human endeavour there is. With jokes, expert interviews, personal revelations and a genuine manifesto for change, it is the book that I needed when I felt eclipsed by early parenthood and the book I felt compelled to write, just as soon as my son had stopped trying to push raisins into my USB port. 

“I am so grateful to everyone who shared their stories and insight with me. And, as always, so grateful to Transworld for putting their weight behind a political and personal book that asks some rather awkward questions. Like: aren’t all mothers working mothers, when should I have sex again and should I buy a free-standing, self-swinging robotic hammock?”

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