The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu team up

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu team up

A book about joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the early front-runner to be the book of the fair, after a “spirited” 12-publisher auction.

The Book of Joy: Finding Enduring Happiness in an Uncertain World is the first ever collaboration between the two Nobel Peace Prize laureates. The book will comprise answers to questions posed to the two religious leaders via their Facebook pages; the pair will answer a selection of them with writer Douglas Abrams, who has written a children’s title, God’s Dream (Candlewick), with Tutu.

North American rights were snapped up by Caroline Sutton, editor-in-chief at PRH imprint Avery, after “strong interest from every major US publisher”, Sutton said, adding: “An idea for a book about joy swept me off my feet—and these two are the two to write it.”

Hutchinson publishing director Jocasta Hamilton bought UK and Commonwealth rights to the book, after a 12-publisher auction, from Mary Clemmey at the Mary Clemmey Literary Agency. 

Hamilton said: “I’m delighted to be publishing two such extraordinary figures. This is a book which will have such broad appeal across the world.”

Clemmey has represented Tutu for many years. She said: “It was certainly a very spirited auction. This is such a rare book, it is incredible that these two people have come together to write it.” 

Chandler Crawford at The Crawford Agency is handling foreign rights to the title, which has had “numerous pre-empts across the globe”.

The Dalai Lama and Tutu will meet this weekend to celebrate the Tibetan spiritual leader’s 80th birthday and to work on the book.