Gallic Books has acquired B: A Year in Plagues and Pencils, a collection of "lockdown drawings" by Edward Carey.
Named after the author's favourite grade of pencil, the book will feature the line drawings Carey has shared on social media every day since the first lockdown in March 2020 from his home in Austin, Texas.
The drawings will include figures involved in the pandemic, reactions to the other tumultuous events of 2020, including the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the American election, as well as requests from Carey's friends and family and works of Carey's imagination. They will be featured alongside essays reflecting on the project as it progressed.
The book will also include a foreword by Max Porter, who says Edward has "singlehandedly made Twitter a better place" with his lockdown drawings.
Emily Boyce, editor, bought UK, Europe and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Isobel Dixon at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. The book will be published in November 2021, and will be accompanied by an exhibition of the drawings at Belgravia Books, the bookshop of Gallic Books.
Boyce said: "When we signed Edward’s previous book, The Swallowed Man, none of us could have imagined how prescient the story of Pinocchio’s father Geppetto, making art to save his mind while trapped inside a giant sea creature, would prove to be. Each of us trapped 'inside the whale' has had to find ways to keep going, to find connection and stave off isolation and despair – for Edward, this came through his pencil. His lockdown project is a magnificent achievement, reflecting both personal and collective experience, finding beauty amid the horror of these extraordinary times."
Carey said: "I am so thrilled that Gallic will publish this whole year's worth of quarantine drawings. It's very typical of the wonderful and ever inventive Gallic to come up with this idea and I'm so delighted that this journal in pencil will be a book. I am hoping, most of all, that by November, it will all be over and we can all see each other again."
Carey is the author and illustrator of Little (Aardvark Bureau, 2018) and The Swallowed Man (Gallic Books, 2020).