The Borough Press has pre-empted a "remarkable and heart-breaking" new memoir from writer and journalist Blake Morrison.
Editorial director Ann Bissell scooped UK & Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Sarah Ballard at United Agents. The new memoir will be called Two Sisters and will be published in 2023, the 30th anniversary of Morrison’s book And When Did You Last See Your Father? (Granta).
The publisher said: "Morrison has lost a sister and a half-sister in recent years, and both are the subjects of this remarkable and heart-breaking memoir, along with sibling relationships in literature and those of literary figures.
"Blake’s sister Gillian struggled with alcoholism for a large part of her life, and her shocking early death is the starting point for Two Sisters. Blake returns to their childhood to search for the origins of her later difficulties. As he unravels this narrative, he deals movingly in the guilt and shame that will be familiar to every person who has struggled with addiction in their family. He is unflinching in doing so, and the result is a book which provides testament to that common struggle, as well as acknowledging the complex, hidden undercurrents on which all our lives are based."
Morrison said: "This was a tough book to write, dealing as it does with loss and guilt, so I’m delighted to have found a publisher who totally gets it."
Bissell described the book as "an extraordinary memoir", adding: "Alcoholism is a subject very close to my heart: it is an addiction with lasting repercussions on family members. Whilst it is not often possible to save, it is possible to understand—and this book by the literary titan Blake Morrison will help further that understanding. I’m beyond thrilled to publish Blake, and that he has chosen The Borough Press."
Ballard said: "Such forays into sibling relationships are, Blake makes me realise, incredibly rare, and he writes with vulnerability, brutal clarity, and the astonishing, nuanced perspective of a lifelong chronicler of human frailty. This is a book which will mean a great deal to many people."
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