The Bodley Head has won an eight-publisher auction to publish Entangled Life, a "literary and scientific journey" into the world of fungi.
The "genre-defying" book is authored by Merlin Sheldrake, 29, who holds a doctorate in tropical ecology from Cambridge. It will combine natural history with expert science, nature writing and memoir, and draw on years of research undertaken by Sheldrake in the rainforests of Panama. It will also explore questions about "plant and fungal intelligence".
Editorial director Will Hammond, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights on behalf of The Bodley Head from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates, said Sheldrake's "exceptional talent" as a scientist and thinker were matched by his gifts as a writer.
North American rights have been pre-empted by Hilary Redmon on behalf of Random House US and Dutch rights by Atlas Contact.
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