The Bodley Head has won an 11-publisher auction for the next book by Jenny Odell, author of the New York Times bestseller How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House).
Publishing director Stuart Williams acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Saving Time from Carrie Plitt at Felicity Bryan Associates on behalf of Caroline Eisenmann at Frances Goldin Literary. US rights were sold at auction to Hilary Redmon at Random House by Eisenmann. A publication date is yet to be announced.
How to Do Nothing was selected by Barack Obama as one of his favourite books of 2019. Odell's writing has also appeared in publications including the New York Times, New York Magazine, Atlantic, Paris Review and McSweeney's.
The synopsis for her new book explains: “In Saving Time Jenny Odell will do for time what she did in How To Do Nothing for attention, making our experience of time within a capitalist system strange to us, allowing us to see its outlines and imagine other ways to construct it. It will also pose the fundamental question: what is our time on this planet for?”
Williams said: “Jenny’s writing is incredibly rich, warm and wide-ranging, and I know this book’s concerns will speak to a huge audience. It’s about time as a shared political problem, not as an existential challenge that we confront alone. It shows us how we can start to reclaim it from a culture hell-bent on commodifying and capitalising it. In many ways it’s about how to be free.”