Faber has acquired Letter To Louis, a memoir about a mother’s love for her son, by Alison White.
Editorial director Louisa Joyner acquired world rights from Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson.
White grew up in Sheffield, studied in Leeds and moved to Glasgow, where she set up her own landscape architecture business. In 1996, White’s first child, Louis, was delivered by emergency caesarean section at 32 weeks’ gestation. He suffered severe brain damage due to her undetected pre-eclampsia within hours of his birth, and has cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. From this point White’s life "drastically changed".
In 2003 White left Scotland to live remotely in South West Wales with her husband, Greg, and their three children, Louis, Natasha and Jack, where they still live today. Here they built a house to meet Louis’s needs and were able to allow their younger two children to run wild.
Letter To Louis is a memoir about a mother’s love for her son that is addressed to her son Louis. It is also a memoir about hope – hope in others, hope in systems, and hope for the future.
White said: "I’ve never quite known where to begin when someone asks me what I’ve been up to. I’ve never quite known how to explain what our daily life is like. I wanted to write how it is in order to give others a greater understanding of disability and caring. And to be totally honest, I wanted to write something that would make people consider being Louis’ friend. So here is me introducing you: Louis, this is your story. Readers, this is my son."
Joyner said: "Who we choose to publish and how we decide to represent our titles is particularly important in these challenging times. I believe Letter to Louis is a really significant work I’m humbled and proud to publish. Empathy has never been more necessary, and I don’t know of any better way to reach into other worlds than through books. The world of Alison and her son Louis is as funny and brilliant as it is challenging and - at times - heartbreaking. I cannot wait to start sharing it with people."
The book will be published in Spring 2018 and Faber will be selling rights at the London Book Fair.