Duckworth has acquired The Friendship Cure, an exploration of the art and science of friendship by journalist Kate Leaver.
Editorial director Gesche Ipsen acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, from Robyn Drury at Diane Banks Associates. In a separate deal Australia and New Zealand rights were acquired by Catherine Milne at HarperCollins Australia, also from Drury.
"Combining psychology, pop culture, science and personal stories, the book examines the ways friendship has evolved and is changing in the modern world and explains why, in the age of a loneliness epidemic, we need friendship more than ever", the publisher said.
Leaver is an Australian-born, London-based writer and journalist. Her stories and features appear regularly in Glamour UK and Red, as well as online at The Pool, Broadly and Metro UK. She was previously features editor at Cosmopolitan Australia magazine and senior editor at the country’s leading women’s website, Mamamia, as well as a regular commentator on the ABC, Studio 10, The Today Show and Triple J radio.
Ipsen said: "This is a vital, smart and inspiring book for our time, and we are thrilled to publish it at Duckworth. Our world today is both hyper-connected and precarious, and a growing number of us feel deeply alone. In The Friendship Cure, Kate provides fascinating insight into why friendship is key to our mental and physical well-being, and explains with warmth, intelligence and good humour what friendship really means, what it feels like, and, crucially, how each of us can make it work."
Leaver added: "I'm delighted to be publishing my first book with Duckworth and I can't wait for people to read it. Friendship is one of those things we take for granted, in a time when we actually need it most. We're in the middle of a great loneliness epidemic so I've tried to find heartening stories and expert opinions to get us through it."
Duckworth will publish in spring 2018.