David Fickling Books has acquired Crushing, a "timely and beguiling" wordless graphic novel from writer and artist Sophie Burrows.
Commissioning editor Rosie Fickling acquired world rights from Claire Cartey at Holroyde Cartey Ltd. International rights have been sold in the US, Italy, France and China by DFB rights director Bronwen Bennie. Publication is slated for November 2021.
Burrows published picture book Ig Pig and Og Frog! with David Fickling Books in 2019, but Crushing is her first adult title. Written both before and during the pandemic, it will focus on isolation and loneliness in the 21st century and will "resonate all the more given the dramatic drop in social contact we have all experienced during lockdown" says the publisher.
The synopsis reads: "Crushing is a story told in silence; a story without words but bursting with meaning; a story about connections in the big city – making them, missing them, wishing for them. Small but meaningful moments of comfort and connection are celebrated through wordless, dream-like illustrations, along with the bliss that comes from finally finding someone who truly understands you."
Fickling said: "Sophie is a dream to work with – mind-blowingly talented, sensitive and thoughtful, she has created in Crushing something both personal, funny and instantly relatable. Her stunning and carefully crafted images speak louder than any words possibly could, and I have loved watching her develop Crushing into the powerful piece it has become – a beautiful book full of humour and heart."
Burrows commented: "It has been such a joy to work with Rosie, Katie and all of the brilliant team at DFB on this project. Crushing is so close to my heart, and its themes of loneliness and connection have been especially resonant this year; I’m so excited to share it."