Canongate is to publish the memoir of Gina Miller, the business owner who successfully took the UK government to the Supreme Court over its authority to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval.
Hannah Knowles, senior commissioning editor at Canongate, acquired world rights at auction to Miller's memoir Rise from Nelle Andrew at PFD. Hardback publication is scheduled for August 2018.
Miller came to national prominence when she successfully took the UK government to the Supreme Court, challenging its authority to trigger Article 50 - the formal notification to leave the European Union - without parliamentary approval. She has encountered widespread abuse ever since.
"For standing up for what she believed was right, Miller became the target of not just racist and sexist verbal abuse, but physical threats to her and her family", the publisher said. "One question she kept being asked was how could she keep going at the cost of so much pain and aggravation? To her the answer was obvious: she’d been doing it all her life."
In Rise, Miller will draw on a lifetime of fighting against injustice, sexism, racism and bullying. The resulting book will be a "rallying cry", offering guidance and confidence to women in particular for making their voices heard, claiming their own stories, and finding strength in adversity.
"From a career in which she has pushed for transparency and ethical conduct in the financial industry, to overcoming considerable challenges in her personal life, Miller has always lived courageously and proudly", the publisher said, adding: "Rise will inspire others to do the same: to dare to speak up, to make a difference, to rise."
Miller will be writing the book with Betty Trask Prize-winning novelist and journalist Elizabeth Day.
Miller said: "I have become the person I am today, as a result of both the successes and the scars in my life. A life in which I have rarely backed down and whose lessons I hope to share within this book. I very much hope through my stories, readers are able to be happier with who they are and how they live their lives."
Andrew declined to reveal the number of publishers involved in the auction or the figure the deal was signed for, but told The Bookseller that responses from publishers to Miller's proposal were "swift and significant". She also said it has been "one of the most interesting and important auctions I have conducted so far".
"I only allowed those who were serious about publishing her to meet her and she met with several," Andrew said. "I also was very concerned that she was paired with the right editor who would see past the media frenzy to the story she wanted to tell and so the proposal was sent on a very select submission to those I knew well and trusted...(this) was one of the most interesting and important auctions I have conducted so far."
Knowles said the publisher was "extremely honoured" to be publishing Miller, a woman who Knowles said was "brave, honest, passionate and fearless" at the same time as "not seeing herself as special in this regard".
Andrew added: "It is a privilege to be the agent of this incredible project with Canongate and Gina. Since I met Gina I have been consistently in awe of her compassion, bravery and quest for justice at all costs. Hers is the kind of voice we need more of in the world and through Rise, she will now have the chance to inspire not only her peers but generations to come."