Bluebird has signed a “powerful” debut book on coercive control and toxic relationships from writer and comedian Maddy Anholt.
Publisher Carole Tonkinson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Anna Pallai at AMP Literary, to How to Leave Your Psychopath. It is scheduled to publish in February 2022.
The synopsis explains: “This is a candid and darkly entertaining insight into the bizarre and frightening world of coercive control and abusive relationships from a woman who, until her eyes were opened, had spent her entire dating life trapped in them. This accessible book will cover all types of toxic relationships as well as the route to self-discovery, how to see and respond to red flags, safe dating, recognising controlling traits, distinguishing narcissistic and psychopathic personality types and all that lies in-between.
The author herself went through a decade of emotional abuse before waking up to the toxic patterns of psychopathic personality types with help from an NHS crisis counsellor. Using her skills as a professional comedian and communicator, working with Women’s Aid to raise awareness and funds, and a number of respected psychologists, she has written a “survival guide to inform and entertain readers, and possibly even save lives by starting a wider conversation about this issue”.
The comedian, who has starred in “Jerk” and “The Emily Atack Show” alongside performing four sell-out shows in Edinburgh, said: “An extraordinary number of people are utterly trapped in controlling and coercive relationships. For many years, I was one of them, and what I desperately needed back then was a straightforward survival guide to explain what the hell was going on. I decided to write the book I wish I'd read 10 years ago! It has been my absolute pleasure to work with my brilliant literary agent Anna Pallai, Women's Aid, and Carole Tonkinson and her outstanding team at Bluebird, Pan Macmillan. I feel my story has found its natural home.”
Tonkinson added: “Maddy's proposal was the dream: brilliantly researched, well informed, immensely relatable and laugh-out-loud funny. I pre-empted it straight away. I have been on the search for a book on coercive control that felt empowering, informed by lived experience and is an unputdownable read. One of the terrible legacies of coercive control is toxic shame about getting involved with a narcissist in the first place.”
Pallai added: "Maddy is one of the warmest, funniest young voices around — and she writes about this dark subject with captivating insight and wit. I am delighted that Carole and the Bluebird team will be working with her on this important book.”