Faber & Faber has signed a popular science book on the psychology of communication by the author Ian Leslie.
Laura Hassan, editorial director at Faber, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Breakdown; Why Everybody's Talking and Nobody's Listening (And What to do About It) from Toby Mundy at Toby Mundy Associates, with foreign rights handled by Susanna Lea.
Breakdown reveals how modern society is "making us worse at effective communication" - but "reassures us that it doesn't have to be this way", according to the publisher. Building on the cutting-edge research of interpersonal psychologists, Leslie exposes the invisible "conversation beneath the conversation".
He uses "vivid" case studies from "ground-breaking" experts in high stakes communication - such as hostage negotiators, diplomats, interrogators, and addiction counsellors - to teach us how to resolve conflict. By learning the hidden rules underlying speech, Leslie says, we can peacefully resolve disputes in both extreme situations and everyday conversations with family, partners, and colleagues.
Leslie said: "I am delighted to be working with Laura and it will be an honour to be published by one of the great publishing houses."
Hassan said: "This is a revelatory look at the quirks and biases of human encounters. It is packed with fascinating research, unforgettable stories and applicable insights. Anyone facing a tricky conversation - whether it be parents or managers - can learn from this smart book."
Leslie is a journalist and the author of Born Liars: Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit and Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian, New Statesman, the Economist, and the Financial Times.
Faber will publish the book in Spring 2020.