The Borough Press has triumphed in a multi-publisher auction for journalist Christina Sweeney-Baird's debut novel The End of Men in a “significant” six-figure deal.
Carla Josephson, senior commissioning editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown. It will be released in hardback in 2021.
Rights have now sold in 15 territories, including to Mark Tavani at Putnam in the US, and Canadian rights to Amy Black at Doubleday. Film rights have been snapped up by a major US TV studio.
Set in the near future, The End of Men portrays a world where 90% of the male population has died from a gender-specific virus. The synopsis says: “Deftly reimagining our world through a female lens, Christina explores the impact of the end of men on fertility, governance, politics, technology and more. Her careful and poignant portraits of love and relationships bind the science of this novel into something utterly human, which leaves a lasting impact on the reader.”
Sweeney-Baird is a freelance journalist who has written for the Independent and the Huffington Post. She works as a corporate litigation lawyer in London.
She said: “I began The End of Men in 2018, and whilst writing I hoped I would find a publisher who would be as passionate about the book as I am. It’s an extraordinary coincidence that I found this passion in Carla and the team at Borough Press, just weeks before we saw the rapid spread of coronavirus across the world. I’m beyond grateful to my agent Felicity who has worked so hard to shape the book and make all of this happen – it’s a total dream to be joining Borough.”
Blunt added: “Christina is a writer of extraordinary imagination, humour and verve. The End of Men is a nuanced and vividly realised portrait of love and the human spirit. Borough is the perfect home both for this book and whatever she writes next.”
Josephson added: “The End of Men combines a hugely poignant and compelling story that is impossible to put down, with an insightful examination of gender politics and the result is an absolute bombshell. Christina is an exceptionally talented writer, and Borough Press is passionate about supporting debut authors and launching their writing careers.”