New Octopus imprint Brazen has picked up Small: On Motherhoods, a “dazzling” book by Claire Lynch.
Romilly Morgan, editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth English language rights from Emma Finn at Conville & Walsh. The book will be published on 3rd June 2021.
The publisher explained: “Claire Lynch knew that having children with her wife would be complicated, but she could never have anticipated the extent to which her life would be redrawn by the process. This dazzling debut begins with the smallest of life's substances, the microscopic cells subdividing in a petri dish in a fertility treatment centre. She moves through her story in incremental yet ever growing steps, from the fingernail-sized pregnancy test result screen which bears two affirmative lines to the premature arrival of her children who have to wear scale-model oxygen masks in their life-saving incubators. Devastatingly poignant and profoundly observant—and funny against the odds—Claire considers whether it is our smallness that makes our lives so big.”
Lynch is a university lecturer, academic and critic. Her Four Thought talk “The Other Mother” was first broadcast on BBC Radio Four in 2020 and her first piece of narrative non-fiction took second place in the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in 2017. She was a shortlisted writer for the Penguin Random House WriteNow scheme in 2018 and a longlisted writer for the Hinterland non-fiction prize in 2019. Small is her first book for a general audience.
She said: “Motherhood is so often framed as a series of impossibly big questions. Should I? Can I? Is this the right time, the right person? But so much in life comes down to the small things. The smallest cells become the most important people, the briefest conversation can change everything.”
Morgan said: “When reading through proposals, I have a habit of annotating any sentences that strike a chord with asterisks, and by the time I was halfway through Small, Claire’s manuscript looked more like a galaxy. She is truly one of the most original debut writers I have read in a very long time. Small is a mighty book to launch the Brazen list with.”