Collins goes near the Knuckle with acquisition

Collins has bought a memoir of an Irish traveller bare-knuckle boxing champion.

Craig Adams, assistant editor for Collins, bought world rights in all languages to Knuckle by James Quinn McDonagh, in an unagented deal. The book will be published in spring 2012.

McDonagh got involved in a feud between Irish traveller clans in the early 1990s, when animosity between families manifested itself in a series of bare-knuckle boxing matches. McDonagh was thrust into a series of fights as he was the best fighter in his family. The book will tell McDonagh's story as well as detail his childhood growing up in 1970s Ireland. McDonagh was the subject of a documentary, also called "Knuckle", which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Adams said: "Our understanding of the travelling community is almost entirely based on received wisdom—films like 'Snatch' and other fictional portrayals—but James is looking forward to telling it like it is through the story of his fascinating life, giving us a real insight into a hidden world."