Cresswell delivers The Midwife for Pan Mac

Cresswell delivers The Midwife for Pan Mac

Pan Macmillan has signed The Midwife, a feminist historical novel by Tricia Cresswell, winner of the Mslexia Novel Competition.

Caroline Hogg, editorial director, bought world rights from Charlotte Robertson at Robertson Murray. The book will be published in hardback in March 2022 to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The author, herself a doctor, won the Mslexia Novel Competition in 2020 with an earlier draft of her story, receiving praise from its judges including Louise Doughty, Nicola Holloway and Robertson, who went on to become her agent.

Its synopsis explains: “The dual narrative compares and contrasts the lives of a midwife in Northumberland and a doctor in London. The midwife, Joanna, is found half-naked and half-dead on the moors and can't remember who she is or how she came to be there. But she can remember how to help a woman in labour, and how to expertly dress a wound, and can speak fluent French. And in London, Dr Borthwick is a sensitive and respected physician. But his life is complicated, professionally and personally...”

Cresswell said: “I heard that I had won the Mslexia competition in the same week that our first grandchild was born, in the depths of the first lockdown. Since then, I have had the amazing good fortune to work on the novel with Charlotte and now with Caroline and the rest of the Pan Macmillan team. I hope people will want to read it and will find pleasure and interest when they do.”

The author is a retired public health doctor who temporarily returned to work in spring 2020 in support of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and now, in 2021, is volunteering as a vaccinator. She achieved a Distinction in her creative writing MA at Newcastle University in 2017.

Hogg commented: “I’m thrilled to be publishing Tricia’s wonderful novel. I’d been struggling to get completely lost in reading these past few months but The Midwife broke my dry spell and I devoured it in a few big gulps. It is a wonderfully evocative historical novel which will appeal to fans of The Binding and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.”

Robertson added: “It was such a pleasure to be a judge on the Mslexia Fiction Competition and a complete joy to represent Tricia and her wonderful novel. Caroline and the amazing team at Pan Mac have been so passionate from the start, and are the perfect home. I can’t wait to share it with as many people as possible—reading groups stand by!’