Fourth Estate triumphs in six-publisher auction for O’Neill’s Belfast memoir

Fourth Estate triumphs in six-publisher auction for O’Neill’s Belfast memoir

Journalist Alix O’Neill’s memoir of growing up in a Republican area of Belfast during the 1990s has gone to Fourth Estate in a six-publisher auction.

Head of non-fiction Louise Haines bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The Troubles With Us from Nicola Barr at The Bent Agency. It will be published in spring 2021.

Haines said: “Alix is a hugely gifted writer. This is ‘Derry Girls’ on the page but funnier.”

The book is billed as “a love letter to the city that tells the mundanities and madness of daily life during the Troubles as well as throwing open a window into this little-known or understood part of the UK”.

O’Neill is a journalist with a regular column in Red magazine who has written for the Telegraph, Sunday Times, Marie Claire and others. She is also a regular commentator on "Sky News".

She said: “I’m over the moon that Fourth Estate will be publishing this memoir. I’ve wanted to tell the story of my bonkers yet brilliant experience of growing up in Belfast for a long time and am thrilled to have found the right home for it with Louise and her team.”

Barr added: “My colleagues and I have been dining out on anecdotes from Alix’s memoir since we read it. If she wasn’t my client it would be quite annoying to have come across a compatriot who can tell stories about Northern Ireland so much better than I can.”