Author, journalist and broadcaster Alexandra Heminsley is publishing a "biography of her body" with Chatto & Windus and two book club novels with Sphere.
From Heminsley, who wrote Running Like A Girl and Leap In, as well as ghostwriting Judy Murray's autobiography, Becky Hardie at Chatto & Windus and Ed Wood at Sphere have separately acquired respective new works of non-fiction and fiction. Hardie, for Chatto, acquired at auction Some Body to Love while Wood, for Sphere, acquired two as-yet-untitled novels at auction that will be the first to be written under her own name. All are slated for publication in 2021.
In Some Body to Love, in the era of #MeToo and the GRA, Heminsley reconsiders her relationship with her own body, looking at it from adolescence to now as the mother to a baby boy she is co-parenting with her former partner who is currently embarking on transition (MTF). Questions pondered in the book include "How can we learn to best enjoy our bodies without being defined by them?" and "How best to mother a son when what it is to be a woman is being renegotiated so publicly?".
Hardie said: "We are so happy to welcome Alex to Chatto for Some Body to Love. She's made a career out of writing honestly and perceptively about her relationship with her body, but this new book promises a whole new level of questioning and understanding. She's such a trusted voice and I can't wait to hear what she has to say."
For Sphere she will meanwhile pen an emotional story about two half-sisters that promises to bring nature writing into the fiction arena. One further novel is also included in the deal. Wood said: "With her incisive non-fiction, Alex showed how beautifully she could portray our emotional relationship with the natural world through physicality. This book will bring all that talent to an incredibly moving novel of grief, hope and empowerment that will speak to a universal readership. I couldn’t be more proud to be publishing her fiction."
The deals were simultaneously brokered by Sarah Ballard at United Agents.
Heminsley said: “I had such a wonderful time working with Chatto on Judy Murray’s memoir, and am thrilled that it’s going to be the home for Some Body to Love, which is such an intimate book. And Ed and I have been discussing fiction since he commissioned me at Waterstones Books Quarterly (RIP), so it’s very exciting to be working with him on my first novels. The last year has been an almost vertical learning curve but I’m ready to get to work.”
Heminsley is also books editor for Grazia UK and a reviewer for BBC Radio 2.