Cassell will publish the “hilarious and unflinching” memoir from award-winning author and journalist Emma John about "what it means to be alone when everyone else isn't".
“Self-Contained: Scenes from a Single Life explores the unpartnered life as never before, joyfully celebrating individuality in a world built for two,” the publisher said.
Romilly Morgan, editorial director at the Octopus imprint, acquired world English language rights from Curtis Brown agent Cathryn Summerhayes. Self-Contained will be published by Cassell on 6th May 2021 at £12.99 in hardback.
Cassell said: “Emma is in her 40s; she is neither married, nor partnered, with child or planning to be. In her hilarious and unflinching memoir, she asks why the world only views a woman as complete when she is no longer a single figure and addresses what it means to be alone when everyone else isn't. Self-Contained captures what it is to be single in your 40s, from sharing a twin room with someone you've never met on a group holiday — because the couples have all the doubles with ensuite — to coming to the realisation that maybe your singleness isn't a temporary arrangement, that maybe you aren't pre-married at all, and in fact you are self-contained.”
John is an author and journalist. Her last book, Wayfaring Stranger: A Musical Journey in the American South (W&N), was recently named one of Newsweek's Travel Books of the Decade and her debut, Following On: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket was published by cricket press Wisden in 2016. She was the first woman to win a Sports Journalism Award in the UK, though she is also known for her writing on music, theatre, film, books and travel. She is a regular on national radio, appearing on documentaries and comedy shows on BBC R4, as well as providing sports analysis for BBC Radio5Live and talkSPORT.
“I grew up believing that being an adult meant finding a mate and settling down and it never occurred to me that wouldn't happen,” John said. “I'm find myself constantly confronting the assumption that life is less full, less fulfilled, if it's lived singly. I wrote this book because I don't want to be haunted by the word ‘spinster’ any more’.”