Canongate lands Bright's 'fiercely brave' non-fiction debut

Canongate lands Bright's 'fiercely brave' non-fiction debut

Canongate has landed This Ragged Grace, the debut non-fiction book from "Literary Friction" host Octavia Bright.

Simon Thorogood, editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to the work from Kirsty McLachlan at Morgan Green Creatives.

The book explores Bright's recovery from alcohol addiction, interwoven with her father's experience of Alzheimer's. Publication is slated for summer 2023.

The synopsis explains: "Fiercely brave, Octavia tells the story of her journey to recovery from alcohol addiction, and the parallel story of her father’s descent into Alzheimer’s. Looking back over this time, each of the seven chapters explores the feelings and experiences of the corresponding year of recovery, tracing the shift in emotion and understanding that comes with the deepening connection to this new way of life. Over the course of this seven-year period, life continues to unfold. Paths are abandoned, people fall ill, waters get choppy, seemingly impossible things are navigated without the old fixes. As Octavia moves between London, the island of Stromboli, New York, Cornwall and Margate, each place offers something new but ultimately always delivers the same message: that wherever you go, you take yourself with you."

Bright is a writer and broadcaster. She co-hosts "Literary Friction", the literary podcast and NTS Radio show, with Carrie Plitt, which has run for eight years and in 2020 had a total of nearly 400,000 downloads. She has appeared on BBC's "Open Book" show and her BBC Radio 4 documentary about the novel American Psycho aired earlier this month. Her writing has been published in the White Review, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Wasafiri, Somesuch Stories, and the Sunday Times, among others.

She said: "I’ve long admired Canongate’s commitment to publishing an exciting and diverse range of writers who try to tell the truth about difficult things, so I am over the moon to be working with them on This Ragged Grace – I think it’s the perfect home for it, and I can’t wait to get started."

Thorogood added: "Octavia’s writing just blew me away, not just the ideas, stories and honesty of the book, but the poetry of her words on the line. This is going to be a very special and exciting book."