Faber has bagged Boy Friends by Michael Pedersen, the debut work of non-fiction by the poet exploring his grief following the death of friend Scott Hutchison, member of Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit.
In Boy Friends, Pedersen aims to deal with "the urgency and profundity of grief" after Hutchison's death in 2018. The publisher said: "Pedersen goes back to his childhood; to the working-class, overly sensitive boy growing up in Edinburgh; to his wild, reckless university days; and to an early career as a lawyer; returning to the bewildering process of digesting Scott’s passing. He recalls all the passionate male friendships that enriched his life, though Boy Friends is primarily a love letter to his most cherished friend, and a powerful depiction of friendship, loss and the beauty of moments shared."
Publishing director Alexa von Hirschberg acquired world all-languages rights, including audio, from Becky Thomas at Lewinsohn Literary.
Von Hirschberg said: "Boy Friends is a joy to read and shines a rare light on male friendship as well as grief, at a time when men’s mental health awareness is becoming increasingly visible. Michael is a ravishingly original talent and writes about the pain of losing friendship with beauty, insight and intoxicating energy."
Pedersen is a prize-winning Scottish poet and author. His second collection, Oyster (Birlinn General), was published in 2017 and was illustrated by and performed as a live show with Hutchison. Pedersen has been named one of Canongate’s Future 40, was a finalist for the 2018 Writer of the Year at the Herald Scottish Culture Awards, was awarded the 2014 John Mather Trust Rising Star of Literature Award and won a 2015 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. Pedersen also co-founded Neu! Reekie!, a prize-winning arts collective that has produced cutting-edge shows around the world for more than 10 years.
He said: "What started as a book about celebrating one magical, coruscating and unforgettable friend became a book about many friendships—perhaps all friendship. Curious that loss was the impetus to take stock of so many gorgeous friendships in my life—those here, those gone, those somewhere off in the celestial ether. I’ve never been so zealously of the opinion that friendships might just be the greatest love affairs of our lives. Working with Alexa and Faber has been the most astoundingly compassionate experience. After meeting Alexa there really was no other home for this book."
Boy Friends is scheduled for summer 2022.