Richard Charkin’s new venture Mensch Publishing is gearing up to its first publication, Time to Go by Guy Kennaway, billed as “a darkly funny memoir about assisted dying” out on 7th February.
Charkin, previously Bloomsbury's executive director and now president of Bloomsbury China, outlined his plans for his new company back in October, revealing that "I have been so lucky to work in this industry…So if I lose a bit of money, I hope it’s not too much, but so be it”. Sales, rights and distribution for Mensch will be handled by Bloomsbury.
The first book, Time To Go, will be published in hardback on 7th February 2019, retailing at £14.99, with the audiobook edition released simultaneously with Creative Content with narration from “The Crown” actor Alex Jennings. Charkin bought world rights from Mark Stanton at The North Literary Agency.
Charkin will focus on more niche non-fiction “that does not immediately enter into Nielsen BookScan", he told The Bookseller back in October, and wants to work with writers directly as much as possible. He is friends with Kennaway and his family which is how he first came across Time to Go.
"Eighty-eight years old, with an older and infirm husband, Susie [Kennaway] wanted to avoid sliding into infantilised catatonia," the synopsis reads. "The son [Guy] immediately started taking notes and Time to Go is the result.
"In turns a manual for those considering the benefits of assisted dying, a portrait of a mother son relationship, and a sympathetic description of old age, this book is a route map through the moral, legal, emotional, intellectual and practical maze that is the biggest issue facing the senior generations today: leaving life on their own terms,” Mensch said.
It is described by Charkin as “a darkly funny memoir about assisted dying”, attracting endorsing quotes from novelist William Boyd and artist Mat Collishaw while the Guardian recently suggested it would " probably enrage many people because it dares to make jokes about self-euthanasia" and "should keep book clubs arguing for years".