4th Estate snaps up Day's tribute to failure

4th Estate snaps up Day's tribute to failure

4th Estate will publish author and journalist Elizabeth Day's first non-fiction book, How to Fail: The Art of Succeeding Better, based on her successful podcast series.

Billed as “part memoir, part manifesto”, it offers “fascinating insights gleaned from her journalistic career of celebrity interviews” and is inspired by the weekly podcast "How to Fail with Elizabeth Day" which launched in July. The series has included interviews with One Day author David Nicholls, as well as Olivia Laing and Sebastian Faulks, and has now been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Including chapters on success, dating, work, sport, relationships, families and friendship, the book "is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger", according to a 4th Estate spokesperson.

Helen Garnons-Williams, publishing director at the HarperCollins imprint, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights including Canada for How to Fail: The Art of Succeeding Better from Janelle Andrew at PFD. It will be published in hardback in April 2019.

Day’s debut Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and Home Fires was an Observer book of the year (both published by Bloomsbury). 4th Estate published her latter two novels, Paradise City, and The Party, which was selected as a Richard and Judy bookclub pick in April.

The writer, who grew up in Northern Ireland, is also an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for a number of publications including the Times, the Guardian, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle.

“We could not be more delighted to be publishing this uplifting, funny and refreshingly honest book,” Garnons-Williams said. “Whether she is writing fiction or non-fiction, Elizabeth has a remarkable gift for empathy and acute observation and How to Fail is both wonderfully reassuring and inspiring.”

Day said: "I'm utterly delighted to be writing this book and to be working again with Helen and the fantastic team at 4th Estate for my first foray into full-length non-fiction. When I started the podcast, I thought maybe about 12 people would listen, but to have seen it connect with so many hundreds of thousands of listeners has been an incredibly moving thing to witness.

“In this age of curated perfection, I feel there's an urgent need to talk about failure, to share our stories and to realise that being truthful to ourselves about ourselves is the most rewarding way to live.”

She added: “I'm so looking forward to exploring these themes in the book, along with cataloguing my own many and varied mistakes.”