Daunt Books wins four-way battle for Lavery memoir

Daunt Books wins four-way battle for Lavery memoir

Daunt Books Publishing has won a four-way auction for Please Miss by Grace Lavery, a speculative memoir about addiction recovery and gender transition. 

Publisher Željka Marošević acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Carrie Plitt at Felicity Bryan Associates, on behalf of Alison Lewis at the Zoë Pagnamenta Agency. It will be published on the Daunt Books Originals list in spring 2022. The book has already sold at auction in the US to Basic Books in a six-figure deal.  

Lavery is a professor of Victorian literature at UC Berkeley in California, trans writer and public intellectual. She was born in Birmingham and studied at Oxford and Sussex, and now writes about trans culture and politics for publications including VICESlate and the Guardian. She is the most followed transgender scholar in the world on Twitter and Instagram. Her recently live-streamed event for Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research, “The TERF Industrial Complex: Transphobia, Feminism and Race”, broke the institute's audience record. 

The book's synopsis states: “Please Miss is a genre-bending memoir that tells Lavery’s story of recovery and transition refracted through many different lenses, including pop culture, queer theory, Hollywood and literature—through films like 'Gremlins 2', through the eyes of her husband and mother, and through lots of surprising and joyful experiments in sex between changing bodies. You might call it 13 ways of looking at a trans woman. It has already drawn early praise from Carmen Maria Machado, Jordy Rosenberg and Michelle Tea."

Marošević said: “I don’t think there has ever been a memoir like Grace’s. Resisting neat narratives of closure, Please Miss asks how we might tell the story of a life more truthfully. Grace has found a new language and form that is as dazzling and radical as it is moving, sexy, and extremely funny. This is a book that centres queer and trans freedom and joy when the civil rights and political existence of the trans body are threatened on a daily basis: it feels nothing short of miraculous.”

Lavery said: “I’m absolutely plum en extase to be published in the UK by Daunt, whose chic editions of modern and contemporary literature already populate my shelves and those of all the most attractive people I know. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to share my work with the UK—a belated 'what I did on my holidays' essay dispatched after 12 years of living in the United States. Basically, as my mother says, chuffed.”