Octopus imprint Brazen has won a five-way auction for the debut book from Scottish comedian and writer Fern Brady about her experience of autism.
Romilly Morgan, publishing director at Brazen, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jess Molloy at Curtis Brown for Strong Female Character, dubbed “a game-changing memoir on sexism and neurodiversity", by the publisher. It will be published in 2023.
“In January 2021, at the age of 34, Fern Brady was finally diagnosed as autistic,” Brazen said. “Strong Female Character is her account of the resilience she built up from the trauma she experienced as a result of her undiagnosed autism.
"Fern will use her voice as a neurodivergent, working-class woman from Scotland to bring issues such as sex work, abusive relationships and her time spent in teenage mental health units to the page. It will take a sledgehammer to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope which is mistakenly applied to neurodiverse women. It will also look at how her lack of regard for social expectations ultimately meant she surpassed any limitations of what a Scottish working-class woman can do.”
Morgan said of the debut: “If anyone asks me in the next two years where I see the non-fiction book market ‘going’, I am going to send them a copy of Strong Female Character. Fern Brady is writing a book unlike anything that has come before.”
Brady commented: “I’ve always had a broad interest in communication and more specifically how women are socialised to express themselves in quite limited ways. Since my autism diagnosis I discovered how many women’s diagnoses are missed through their learning to mask and hide their autistic traits. I knew I wanted to bring these themes together to create a book not just for the autistic community but for anyone interested in how and why we communicate the way we do. I’m beyond excited to work with Romilly as I’m a big fan of her previous work at Octopus and the Brazen imprint felt like the perfect home for this project.”
Brady has featured on "Live From the BBC", "Live From the Comedy Store", "The Russell Howard Hour", and "Live at the Apollo". She regularly writes for the Guardian and has had viral success with her BBC Life Lessons, as well as taking part in the Australian comedy scene and supporting Frankie Boyle and Katherine Ryan on tour. She is currently co-hosting “British as Folk” on Dave.
- Faber wins five-way auction for Dick's forgotten 'queer dystopian masterpiece'
- Picador triumphs in five-way auction for 'remarkable' novels by Kawakami
- HarperFiction triumphs in five-way auction for 'tearjerker' by Major
- Hamlyn wins five-way auction for Money Mum Official
- Cape wins 'heated' five-way auction for biologist Raihani’s debut