Duckworth Publishers will publish The Greetings Instinct: The Art and Science of Saying Hello, a "unique book" that "puts greetings under the spotlight as never before" by Andy Scott.
The Greetings Instinct "scrutinises our most common greetings...as well as some of the weirdest, rarest and most secret..." and asks: "To what extent are our greetings simply a matter of culture? Or can our biology and evolution tell us anything about the ways in which we greet one another? And, in turn, can greetings shed light on human nature and our relationship to the rest of the animal world?"
The book, "part personal quest, part anthropological study and part global guide", is the first acquisition by Duckworth’s new publishing director, Nikki Griffiths, who bought world rights from Peter Tallack of The Science Factory.
Griffiths said: "Andy’s book explores a fascinating yet understudied aspect of human behaviour. He takes us on a journey we can all relate to and I am excited by its huge global potential."
Tallack said: "Ranging from a surprisingly weak handshake he once had with Henry Kissinger to his fumbled attempt at a double kiss on a first date, Andy is acutely aware of the capacity of greetings to embarrass and confuse, something that he argues is only getting worse in our increasingly connected world. By showing how greetings open up a vast array of profound questions, his book aims to transcend traditional etiquette and body-language manuals and provide instead the first field guide for identifying, observing and decoding how humans say hello. Suffice to say, we're both delighted that it's started with such a firm handshake on a deal with Nikki for her first book with Duckworth."
According to Duckworth, the book has "international appeal", with interest already building in the lead-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where The Greetings Instinct will be the lead title for Duckworth’s rights manager, David Marshall.
Publication is scheduled for spring 2017.